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21 July 2015

Attracting Wildlife to Your Garden

If you would like to attract more wildlife to your garden, you don't have to spend a fortune - just think about what the various species need and help nature.

If you can attract insects to your garden you can provide for the whole food chain, without shelling out for specialist supplies. An undisturbed pile of logs makes an excellent hideaway for an amazing number of insects which in turn can attract birds and mammals. Listed below are other things you can do to help wildlife.

By leaving part of your garden untouched, with good access to other gardens or wild spaces, you are creating a safe area for wildlife away from human influences. However if you prefer a tidier garden, you can still provide additional food and shelter for all the small things - and some of the big ones too - with a good mix of plants.

Trees not only give birds somewhere to nest but can provide food for a range of species.

Hedgerows, such as holly, provide essential cover and corridors that join up green spaces for small mammals. Many bird species will also appreciate the protection provided by hedges as they go about their business. I planted a wildlife-friendly hedge at the bottom of my garden a couple of years ago, mixing hawthorn, blackthorn, guelder rose, hazel, dogwood and pyracantha with the existing holly and flowering currant bushes. The new plants are now established and it is looking more like the finished article.

Planting a range of shrubs that flower at different times will improve the diversity of visitors to your garden, while introducing taller flowers will attract flying friends from bees to dragonflies.

Night-scented plants such as buddleia and evening primrose are great for moths which in turn are a feast for bats, while buddleias are also well known for attracting butterflies.

Wall climbers can provide links between gardens for pollinators.

Make a calm, sheltered area in a windy garden using trellis and evergreens to act as a windbreak.

Leave an area of your lawn untrimmed as longer grass is essential for egg-laying insects such as butterflies.

Try to fit a pond into your garden, as they are essential for amphibians and give birds somewhere to bathe and drink.

Try to make your own compost, as compost heaps provide a warm home to reptiles as well as being a great source of nutrients for your garden.

I hope you can try at least one of the above suggestions in your garden - I'm sure it will be worth the effort.
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