If you have a garden or an outdoor space, then being able to make it more wildlife-friendly, especially as we enter autumn, then it can make a real difference. Take hedgehogs, for example, they are in a massive decline, and at this time of the year, they look for shelter to hide in. But as so many leaves fall and we’re generally out in our gardens less, it can meant here isn’t much for them to hide in, and then predators like foxes can hurt them. So being able to make a difference to the wildlife in your garden can be really important. Plus, with little ones, it is another reason to get outside, even in the rain and snow, and it starts conversations about minibeasts, wildlife, and animals, and how we can take better care of them. So with all of that in mind, here are some of the things that you can do to make your garden, patio, or outdoor balcony better for wildlife.
Make a wildlife pond
All animals need to have some water to survive and thrive, just like us. So if you want to do something extra for the wildlife in your garden, then creating a small wildlife pond can be a good idea, and it can make a difference to the biodiversity in your garden. If you haven’t got the space (or money) for a pond, then you could consider getting a bird bath from somewhere like Little Peckers. With winter coming up in the next few months, having some water for the birds, and other wildlife, can make a real difference.
Keep an untidy area
It kind of goes against every rule, but how about leaving an area of the garden and have it be a little untidy? When there are squares of pristine lawn, neat decking, and neat paved gardens, then they do very little for wildlife and nature. So if you want to encourage more wildlife into your garden then it is a good idea to leave an area that is a little untidy. It could be an area where you leave the grass to grow a little more, or where you leave a pile of leaves which can be a good place for hedgehogs to hide in. Areas like this can also encourage more insects into the garden too. Insects are a source of food for many birds, as well as mammals, and things like frogs and toads.
Having a pristine flowerbed can be lovely, and planting the flowers that you want to have in your garden. But having things like native flowers in your garden are things that are hugely important to attract wildlife into your garden. Wildflowers are great for insects, especially bees, so it is important to plant them to attract them to your garden. The good news is that you don’t need to have a large amount of space for this kind of thing; you could have a planter of wildflowers on your balcony. Window boxes are also a good idea, as well as using planters dotted around your garden, or whatever space you have.
Build a rocky area
In the UK, we don’t have a massive amount of reptiles that could come into our garden. But the ones that we do have, really play an important part in the ecosystem. So one way to encourage reptiles into your garden, is through a rocky area, much like a rockery. Combine the rocks with some grass and it can be a great space for them to go. This can also be a great space for insects and minibeasts too, with things like worms and woodlice liking to hide under rocks.
Plant a native hedge
Even a small hedge can make a massive difference in your garden and even a small amount, like a couple of metres, can be enough to be of benefit to the wildlife in your garden. If you have a fence then have you thought about replacing fencing with a hedge? It helps to attract things like hedgehogs to your garden, as there isn’t the hard blockage that a fence can be. A hedge can be a good way to provide food for wildlife in your garden as well, so it can attract a variety of wildlife to your garden. And did you know that right about now is the perfect time to plant a hedge? It can take root over autumn and winter, and then be good to go from Spring.