How To Attract Wildlife Into Your Garden:
Ideas, Tips Tricks
Local wildlife needs your support. Transform your garden into a
wildlife hotspot with these ideas, tips, and tricks.
The Climate Change Committee — an independent advisory body on the environment —
estimates we’ve lost 8% of urban green land between 2001 and 2019, putting key habitats
like local parks at serious risk. As these green lands shrink to make room for various
development projects, it’s likely you have some new residents in your neighbourhood.
From urban concrete jungles to sleepy suburbs, the United Kingdom is a densely populated
place, and you’d be surprised what wildlife we share our homes with. It’s not just foxes, rats,
pigeons, and eight-legged creepy-crawlies (though each has its merits too), our gardens are
diverse micro-habitats, providing shelter and food for a myriad of species.
Making your garden a sanctuary for nature is a great idea. In this article, we explore some of
the best tips and tricks for attracting wildlife and sustaining a healthy, biodiverse habitat in
your back garden, both for the good of you and the surrounding environment. Read on.
Establish shelter for wildlife
Shelter is key to establishing a sanctuary for wildlife in your garden. Why? Because a safe
space to rest and breed is one of life’s most basic needs. Be it naturally or artificially, your
garden can give shelter to a variety of animals in many different ways.
When it comes to local birdlife, bird boxes are the go-to for attracting our feathered friends
into the garden. Establishing artificial shelters like this is particularly helpful during the
breeding season (falling between February and August) as natural roosting sites often prove
difficult to find in more urban areas. The same can be said for hedgehog homes, which
provide secure shelter for lots of small, ground-dwelling mammals.
Composting is also a great way to provide shelter. This is because compost naturally
enriches the soil in your garden, helping a variety of plants and shrubs grow, which attracts
pollinators (like bees and birds), while simultaneously establishing cover for other critters.
Moreover, the compost itself is incredibly nutritious and provides a habitat for all sorts of life,
from woodlice and insects to the much rarer slow worm.
Create a variety of feeding spots
It’s important to promote foraging and feeding to attract wildlife. If your garden provides a
range of reliable food sources, you’ll create a plentiful ecosystem where local wildlife remain
healthy and nourished through the year, particularly if you use a mixture of tactics.
With this in mind, creating a variety of natural feeding spots is important for a harmonious
micro-habitat where the food chain remains in perfect balance. For instance, many fruit trees
and berry bushes provide evergreen nutrition for all sorts of species, including birds and
insects. Also planting nectar-rich plants like aster in your flower beds supports hundreds of
native species, encouraging bug life for insectivores and supporting seed dispersion.
So, organic food sources are intrinsically beneficial for your garden, but artificial feeding
spots also have great merit. This is because they supplement the process of foraging and
feeding, particularly during cold weather when natural food is sparse. For birds, this means
providing protein-rich nuts and seeds from platforms like a hanging bird table (a good option
for small urban gardens). And for mammals, many experts recommend leaving out tinned
dog or cat food, not milk (which is a popular misconception) as it causes illness.
Provide a reliable freshwater source
H2O — the foundation of life — is essential to guarantee the health of wildlife in your garden.
While it nurtures plant life and hydrates thirsty birds, water isn’t just for drinking. It sustains
life throughout the garden, both during arid summer months and freezing winter days.
Constructing a garden pond is perhaps the best way to turn your home into a biodiverse
watering hole. Why? Because a living pond is the ultimate supporter of natural wildlife. Once
you build a pond, nature quickly makes use of the habitat — so expect to see:
● Amphibians (frogs, toads, and newts)
● Dragonfly and damselfly
● Grass snakes
● Swallow and housemartins
Ponds don’t need to be particularly large or deep, simply create a space suitable for your
garden and avoid using chlorinated water. To fill the pond. use rainwater collected from a
water butt; plantlife like waterlilies stop the water from becoming stagnant and uninhabitable.
As areas of large urban green land continue to reduce, more and more wildlife is
turning to your back garden for food and shelter. These are the tips and tricks for
attracting wildlife into your garden, helping animals thrive in a little pocket of nature.