Go wild in your garden!
Together, our gardens are a vast living landscape. With an estimated 24 million gardens in the UK, the way they are cared for can make a big difference to the natural world.
Large or small, ledge or yard, your garden can be a mosaic in a wider network of natural havens linking urban green spaces with nature reserves and the countryside.
Hedgehogs, bats, sparrows, song thrushes and stag beetles are all declining species in the UK, but if we manage our gardens to benefit wildlife, these creatures and many more will find refuge. It’s not hard to be help. Consider a whole host of wild ideas and features – or just pick one and then sit back, enjoy the view and see who visits!
Why have a plain, ugly fence when a green, living boundary can bring the riches of flowers, scent, berries, rich autumn colours and wildlife? Ever thought about which heavenly-scented plants provide night-time nectar for moths?
Or digging a pond? If you introduce a water feature, not for fish but for newts, dragonflies, pond skaters, you'll also be providing water for birds. Plant up the edges with the golden blooms of marsh marigolds and the lush spikes of purple loosestrife and you'll have nectar stations for insects and beauty to dwell on.
For this year’s Wild About Gardens challenge, The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) are calling on people to put in a pond. From mini container ponds to larger sunken ponds, it’s THE garden feature that can make the biggest difference to wildlife.
Wildlife needs ponds!
With much of the UK’s native flora and fauna under threat, often down to habitat loss, Wild About Gardens sees the two charities join forces to raise awareness of the importance of gardens in supporting wildlife and offer tips and advice on how to make them more wildlife-friendly.
The UK has lost ponds, rivers and streams at a rapid rate and only a small amount of our natural ponds and wetlands remain. Many of these are in poor condition and 13% of freshwater and wetland species are threatened with extinction from Great Britain. The loss of these important places – to development, drainage and intensive farming – is linked to a huge decline in wildlife, including frogs and toads, water voles and insects.
Adding a pond – by digging one in your back garden or simply by filling a waterproof container outside your front door – is one of the best ways you can help wildlife and enjoy the benefits of seeing water plants, birds and bees close to home. Digging a pond is great for hedgehogs to have somewhere to drink and for frogs, newts and other amphibians to feed and breed. All ponds – large, small, dug or container – are good news for bats, damselflies, dragonflies, other insects too.
Wildlife-friendly gardening is about making a haven for you, as well as for wildlife. By gardening sympathetically for wildlife, you’ll be rewarded by a truly natural outdoor space, where you can get in touch with the plants, animals and birds that make their home there.
A useful guide to creating and maintaining a garden pond.
Take Action for Wildlife
Here are some simple ideas to help ensure your garden is wildlife friendly.
How to build a pond
A wildlife pond is one of the single best features for attracting new wildlife to the garden.
How to compost your waste
Instead of sending your waste to landfill, create your very own compost shelter for wildlife.
How to attract hedgehogs and badgers
Putting out a bit of food can help see mammals like hedgehogs through colder spells.