There are lots of ways you can attract wildlife to your garden, even if you live in the middle of a town or have a very small outside space. Even if you do not have a big garden or you only have a concrete patio, you will be surprised at what shelters in the nooks and crannies.
If you live in town, one of the best ways to help wildlife is to garden for wildlife. This does not mean giving up on your herbaceous borders and letting the nettles grow, but just adapting what you may already be doing.
Gardens are extremely important for wildlife. Not only can they provide food and shelter for a huge range of plants and animals, but they can form a natural “bridge” between built-up and open areas, which allow wildlife to move between them relatively easily. Gardens can also provide particular habitats that may be missing in your area such as ponds and suitable hibernation or nesting sites.
There are 15 million gardens in the UK and they are estimated to cover about 270,000 hectares, which is more than the area of all UK’s nature reserves.
Each garden on its own may be small, but together they form a mosaic of habitats for wildlife.
Creating a wildlife pond is one of the best ways of attracting wildlife into a garden. A pond can be made from something a simple as an old sink, but to provide the best conditions for wildlife, it is preferable to construct a purpose designed pond. Make it as large as you can, although a small pond is better than no pond at all. Ponds can be made at any time of year, but they will establish more quickly if created in the autumn. This timing allows the pond to fill with water over the winter period and settled in time for spring, when a range of animals can benefit from the habitat.