*A post in collaboration with Jessica Foreman
As the world around us continues to grow, it can be easy to forget the massive impact it can have on local wildlife. In many cases, animals and birds across the UK have lost their natural homes. So, what can we do to help resolve this persistent problem?
It’s simple – pull back the blinds and take a look at your own slice of nature. Private gardens provide opportunities for shelter, food and safety. Hedgehogs and bird species such as sparrows, song thrushes, starlings and even the faithful red breasted robin, are all in desperate need of a safe place to feed and rest.
By making a few simple changes to your gardening habits, you can transform your garden into a safe haven for a variety of wildlife species. To help achieve this, here are a few of the best and most effective ways to make your garden wildlife friendly.
Strategic Bird Feeder Placement
Positioning a bird feeder takes a lot more thought than you might have previously imagined. Birds will avoid your garden if they detect danger – for example, a neighbourhood cat whose stomach you can hear grumbling!
Try not to position the feeder too close to a low-hanging branch as cats may use it to get closer to the bird feeder… which is not ideal for our feathered friends! Instead, the best solution is to keep your bird feeder out in the open, but within close enough distance to a high tree branch for birds to retreat to. This will allow birds to feed whenever they like, but they can easily take shelter if they sense they’re in danger from a predator.
Give Birds a Home
Birdhouses come in all shapes and sizes. They provide excellent shelter for a variety of bird species such as blue tits, house sparrows and spotted flycatchers. Despite the fact that not all birds nest in man-made bird homes, a few will happily make your bird house their ‘home sweet home’. Not only will it protect your existing feathered friends, but you will also be helping to welcome new generations of birds to your garden as well.
Make a Log Pile Habitat
Make smaller creatures in your garden feel at home by making a small woodpile from logs, branches and dead wood. This little nest will attract insects and even the odd toad or two! Hedgehogs are also incredibly fond of this type of habitat and will often nestle inside the log pile during the cold months of winter.
Create a Garden Pond
Introducing a water feature will help to encourage even more wildlife to visit your garden. Digging a garden pond provides a welcoming home for not only fish, but for pond skaters, newts, toads, frogs and dragonflies.
Grow an Abundance of Flowers
Instead of surrounding your garden with a plain fence, why not attract even more wildlife by bringing your fence to life! You can do this by introducing scented plants, flowers, berries and other delicious shrubberies to your garden. Many animals will feed on the berries, and some may even decide to build a nest right inside your bushes!