We are all aware of the urgent need to protect our nature which has been depleting at a rapid rate. If you want to make some changes at home to protect nature, boosting the biodiversity in your garden or outdoor space is a great place to start.
Biodiversity and climate are inextricably linked, you can’t fix one without the other. There are lots of things you can do to help wildlife to thrive that don’t cost a lot but can help nature and create a lovely space for you to watch and experience all the life in your garden.
One of the easiest ways to make your outside space wildlife friendly is to fill it with plants and flowers. Plants are the solid foundation of the food chain. Where there are plants, there’s shelter and food for so many creatures. Cowslips, Foxgloves and Primroses are all native species and great for pollinators likes bees and butterflies. Forget-me-nots are also popular with bees and birds like the bullfinch love the seeds.
Climbing plants like Clematis are a good source food for birds and small mammals, as is the honeysuckle which is also where the white admiral butterfly lays its eggs.
Ideally plant in the soil rather than pots as the plants are stronger and need less water. If you only have room for pots then, pots are better than no plants! Use a good peat-free compost – there’s no point destroying special and fragile wildlife homes elsewhere to try and make our own spaces better for wildlife.
Plants don’t stop being useful once they’ve finished growing. All the goodness that’s stored in the leaves, stems and trunks can be returned to the garden and will help feed wildlife and nourish your garden. One of the simplest things to do is make use of the bits and pieces that we often clear away. Dead leaves, fallen branches, old logs and dry stems can be gathered together to make a log or leaf pile. The nutrients from these piles will help your garden grow as well as encouraging more birds, bees and other wildlife to visit.
Setting up a feeding station for birds will attract them to your garden all year round or, with the UK population of hedgehogs declining, build a hedgehog feeding station. April is the perfect time to build one as they come out of hibernation and a fun activity for kids.
By Melanie Nurse