How to Transform your Garden into a Nature Haven this Spring
Spring has finally sprung and now is the ideal time to prepare your garden and make it an inviting home for wildlife to thrive in. With a growing number of native British species of flora and fauna in decline due to humans, making some small changes in your own garden can provide a much-needed lifeline to help protect and support all plants and creatures great and small.
Feed the birds
The WWF highlights that almost 30% of birds in Great Britain are being threatened with extinction, and extreme weather events increasing due to climate change cause further problems for our feathered friends.
Putting out a variety of different bird food in your garden can enable local bird populations to flourish. At spring time especially, with newly hatched chicks needing constant feeding, providing bird food will help to support new generations of birds to survive and thrive.
By having this food source available, you will be able to enjoy seeing a range of different bird species visiting your garden.
Allowing native vegetation to grow in your garden is a great way to help pollinators who have evolved to feed from native plants. From British herbs, to British wildflower seed bombs, there’s plenty of interesting and attractive native plants you can welcome into your garden that will benefit the local wildlife.
Lend a helping hand for hedgehogs
Hedgehogs are a much-loved creature in the UK, yet they are sadly one of many creatures now listed as "Vulnerable" on Britain's red list of mammals. The latest State of Britain's hedgehogs report showed that numbers of hedgehogs have fallen by up to 30% in urban areas and 50% in rural areas since the Millennium.
Harley Hedgehog loves whizzing around gardens - to help him thrive, you can work with your neighbours to create ‘hedgehog highways’, making small doorways in fences between gardens so they can easily travel, find food, and exit gardens as and when they need. Hedgehogs love eating slugs and snails, so making it easier for them to visit your garden can help protect your flowers or vegetables from being eaten by these slimy critters.
Cut back on cutting the grass
Though many people appreciate having a pristine lawn, letting your grass grow long has huge benefits for local wildlife. Long grass provides shelter for bugs, frogs, newts and small mammals, as well as enabling native wildflowers such as daisies, clovers and dandelions to grow – all of which are excellent for bees and other pollinators.
Create a bug hotel
Give bugs and small creatures the perfect hideaway to thrive by creating a bug hotel from old garden bits and bobs. Depending on the size, a bug hotel can provide shelter for hedgehogs and toads, as well as bees and ladybirds. Our ladybird friend Rosie runs her very own hotel, catering to all kinds of creatures in the garden!
You can make it using bits of wood, cardboard, dead leaves, old pots, sticks, straw, bamboo, dead wood, bark, and ceramic tiles. This is a fun activity for children to get involved in and teach them about different habitats for wildlife.
This step-by-step guide from the RSPB tells you everything you need to know about making your own bug hotel, or there are plenty of ready-made ones you can buy.
We hope these ideas have inspired you and your family to transform your garden into a nature haven this spring! Have you come up with some other clever ways to encourage more wildlife into your garden? We’d love to hear from you! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Article by - Melissa Brannlund
Follow me on Twitter @MelBrannlund or email me at email@example.com
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