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7 Ways To Get More Wildlife Into Your Garden

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1. Water water everywhere.

Putting a pond in your garden is the single most effective way of making your garden more attractive to wildlife, enabling you to attract a wider range of species. However, a pond doesn't need to be a huge feature dominating your garden, even a little feature made out of a half barrel will do if that is all your garden can accommodate. Whether the pond is large or small, it will provide habitat for aquatic or amphibious creatures, whilst providing a drinking and bathing spot for others. If possible, create the pond with a range of depths - soft edges and shallow slopes leading towards a deeper centre. This will provide different conditions suitable for different creatures and will provide easy access in and out of the pond.

Log pile for attracting wildlife2. Wildlife likes messy!

Nature isn't tidy, so if you want to attract it into your garden, resist the temptation for everything to be neatly clipped & cleared. This doesn't mean your whole garden needs to resemble a jungle. You can find a hidden corner where you can leave things to grow a bit more wild and leave leaves and debris undisturbed. In fact, add piles of logs, sticks and leaves to improve the habitat. Countless species will love you for it.

3. Let the ivy grow

Ivy gets a bad press - it strangles trees, it wrecks buildings...no it doesn't! Not only does ivy not do these things, it's a brilliant source of nectar in the autumn for a wide variety of insects whilst the berries are a good winter food source for birds. In addition, it provides great nesting and roosting sites for birds and sometimes even bats. So leave the ivy alone.

Butterfly on plant4. Grow the right plants

Try to grow plants which are high in nectar and have a range of plants which will be in bloom across as long a flowering season as possible. Suitable plants include Verbena bonariensis, bluebells, pussy willow, Buddleija, foxgloves, Scabious and heathers. Although they may look nice, avoid growing double flowered varieties as these often restrict insect access to the nectar or don't contain any at all.

5. Compost it all

Make sure you compost your garden waste and relevant kitchen waste. Not only is home produced compost great for your garden and environmentally sound to produce, it provides a great wildlife habitat. Rather than use a sealed compost bin though, have a heap that is open to the elements. This means that birds and other wildlife can access if to forage for food or provide shelter for small mammals and invertebrates.

Wild Bird Nest Box in tree6.  Box clever

At nesting time, natural holes and cavities are always at a premium, so get a range of nest boxes to help the birds out. You can never have too many, so if you have the space, box away. If you're getting several boxes, get a range of different types which are suitable for different types of birds.

7. Feed the birds

However hard you work to improve your garden to make it more attractive to wildlife, there's always room for a bit of help. So, have a range of feeders around your garden, filled with different types of food which will all be attractive to different species of birds.

Follow these tips and you'll have wildlife stampeding to your garden haven.

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