According to The Wildlife Trust, the UK has roughly 24 million gardens, all of which are larger than our National Nature Reserves combined. As they point out, that’s a lot of extra space for wildlife!
If you want to attract wildlife to your garden, plants are the best place to start. From forget-me-nots in Spring, to honeysuckle in summer, heathers in autumn and snow drops in winter – the right mix of flowers will help insects to thrive. For a more in depth look at which plants are best for providing pollen and nectar, take a look at this P4P-Garden-Plants-August-2019.
Whilst one way to increase biodiversity in your garden is to introduce more plants, there are other ways for those who want something a little lower maintenance…
How to increase biodiversity in your garden:
1. Add water – Installing a pond is one of the easiest ways to introduce more wildlife into your garden,however tiny – a large pot or even an inverted dustbin lid in an out-of-the-way spot will do.
2. Compost – Helping to shelter a variety of small creatures, compost is free and easy to produce. It speeds up the natural recycling of nutrients by harnessing native decomposer organisms (saprophytes), especially fungi and soil bacteria.
3. Don’t be too tidy – providing food and habitat for many species, twigs and leaf piles can shelter hibernating insects during the winter months. Piles of stones also make good habitat, particularly for hibernating reptiles and amphibians – tuck them away in hidden corners, at the back of borders or against corners.
4. Wildflower seeds – Okay, so this one is technically under the umbrella of plants, but for those of you who aren’t so green fingered, hear us out. We have lost 96% of our diverse, species-rich meadows since the 1950s, so re-creating them in the garden can help redress the balance. They are great for insects, and very low maintenance.
5. Make a rock garden – a characterful addition to any garden, a rockery will attract specialised wildlife such as mason bees, which are important pollinators. Also important to encourage specialised species of plants and animals that have adapted to surviving in areas with poor, thin soils like sloping ground and cliffs.