Guest post by Ruth Bradshaw*
Encouraging wildlife into a suburban garden can be tricky, especially when space is at a premium. Here’s are some simple things you can do to make your garden more appealing to wildlife.
Keep out the toxins!
Harmful ingredients can be found in weed killers, pesticides and slug pellets as well other shop bought ‘garden remedies’ Read the label if you aren’t sure!
- Use crushed eggshells to deter the slugs from your seedlings and small or extra tasty plants.
- Spray plants with a diluted natural homemade insect repellent instead of chemically laden readily available pesticides. Here is a simple recipe: dilute 1/100 tea tree, rosemary and citronella in water.
- Regularly check plants for caterpillars and other bugs, pick them off by hand.
Create sheltered ‘wilder’ areas
Wild areas are a chance for native plants to grow, leaves to gather and for little nooks and crannies to naturally form where insects love to live.
- Stack up old timber, encourage leaves to gather around it and create a space that insects and small mammals can forage in and shelter from the elements.
- You could even add a bee or insect hotel to your borders.
- Put up a nesting box for birds to rear their young.
en-form insights: Colchester Zoo has an excellent How To if you want to make your own Insect Hotel.
Hang bird feeders in the trees
If you have cats then please don’t do this! Your aim is to support the local bird population, not to expose it to danger.
- Fat balls and stuffed coconuts are great through the winter and seed feeders and bird tables are great for the rest of the year round.
- Consider putting in a pond or small bird bath. It is fun to watch the wildlife and if you are lucky enough to get tadpoles, to watch them grow.
Plant for the local wildlife
It is important to plant for local wildlife so choose native plants that suit your soil and local climate.
- Choose flowers and scented plants for the insects to come and feed on, especially the bees.
- Plant a tree or grow a hedge for wildlife to shelter in.
Support local wildlife initiatives
Sign up to a local conservation initiative near you or support one of the national initiatives such as RSPB who have some great tips on their website here. Whatever you do, no matter how tiny your outdoor space you really can have and make a difference to our native wildlife so do go out there and get wild!
*Please note that the views are that of the author, not necessarily that of en-form.
Ruth Bradshaw is the owner of complimentary therapy business Talk To All Animals, based in Colchester. She is super passionate about making a difference to animal and human relationships and quality of life, and has been an advocate for animals since she was a small child. Ruth is interested in environmental and bio-diversity issues, and likes to do her bit from recycling to using a compost bin in the garden; however small a difference – she is making one.