A garden is a lovely place to have where you can sit and enjoy being outdoors in the peace of your own home. It is also a place that you can make into a haven for wildlife – as winter comes in particular many of the native animals will be struggling to find food and places to shelter from the worst of the weather. With many wild animals in the UK declining rapidly in population, there is an urgent need to ensure that we look after the creatures that live here. Here are some ideas for you to help you to create a wildlife friendly garden…
Bee and Butterfly Plants – There are certain types of plants that are more likely to attract bees and butterflies. Wildflower mixes are cheaply available and are a great thing to plant if you are trying to create a space where bees and butterflies can thrive during the summer months. During the winter, there are some species like the Winter Bumblebee that are still active, so have a look at winter flowering plants like the crocus which are great for these brave bees! Crocus in particular are great as they also provide a shelter for the bees within the petals during a colder snap.
Shelter is something else to consider – at this time of year, lots of animals are looking for places to take refuge from the elements – slow worms and hedgehogs are just two creatures that might make their way to your garden looking for a place to spend the winter months. Create leaf piles for them in an undisturbed part of the garden where they can rest and make bug houses for the minibeasts that will also be looking for a place to spend this colder part of the year.
Food is scarce in the winter, and there are lots of things that you can do to provide food at this time of year, and of course all year round! One of the easiest and best ways to provide food in the winter is to provide a bird feeding station – a bird table that is high enough off the ground from predators where the birds have a good supply of food and fresh water will have lots of birds coming to your garden.
Planting trees is another way to provide food and shelter for garden animals, especially the native trees which are easy to care for and appeal to hundreds of different species.
Take care to check the final size that the tree will grow to, as if you have it too close to the house it can cause all sorts of problems – tree roots are a huge problem to drains, and you may need to get someone like this drain lining company wilkinson-env.co.uk out if you have roots encroaching into the drains, and also branches overhanging the roof can cause problems during the winter if bits break off and cause the roof damage.