• Time to unleash your wild side

    Gardening in tune with the natural world can help save money, give you a much more vibrant outdoor space and, also, improve the number of species you’ll see on your plot. Great for wildlife spotting at home!

    Here are our handy hints and tips on how to achieve a wilder world on your doorstep:

    1. Offer plot diversity with a good range of flowering plants, trees, shrubs and climbers that bloom at different times of year. Include some that have evergreen foliage. A variety of plants will offer more for animals to feed on and use for shelter. Most garden centres are now trading again with social distancing rules in place and taking online or telephone orders and sending goods out in the post or making local deliveries. Find your nearest one here.
    2. Great wildlife attracting plants include sunflowers, lavender and pyracantha.
    3. Create a hedgerow as a place for birds to nest, shelter for small mammals and a green corridor for wildlife to use to move around safely.
    4. Avoid pesticides as these can upset the balance of the environment and kill some of our gardening friends such as insects, birds and hedgehogs.
    5. Create a compost heap for natural and uncooked kitchen waste and for garden waste too. Heaps can be useful as a shelter for animals and, also, the compost can be used in your garden too. Heaps also encourage slow worms, which love to eat slugs!
    6. Leave an area of the garden as a wildlife haven and don’t be too concerned about tidying up. A more relaxed style of gardening encourages greater biodiversity as more places are available for creatures to shelter and there are greater sources of food.
    7. If you haven’t got one already, you can still install a bird feeder – great for watching the birds but keep it regularly cleaned with hot soapy water to avoid the spread of diseases.
    8. Provide safe nesting places – buy bird boxes from online suppliers who are already open and site them responsibly by putting them in a place away from the reach of cats and out of strong sun and wind.
    9. Build a log pile as it provides an ideal winter home for hedgehogs and a safe haven for frogs.
    10. Create a pond, using something you have already at home like an old sink or tub – its plant life is a magnate for wildlife but don’t add goldfish as they eat dragonfly and newt eggs.