How To Make Your Garden A Sanctuary For Endangered Birds & Wildlife (& The Benefits)
With Spring fast approaching, we’ll soon start seeing our gardens fill up with beautiful rays of colour and fresh fragrances. However, flowers aren’t the only things that make our gardens flourish. Inviting endangered birds and wildlife is another great way to make your garden prosper.
There are several benefits of encouraging birds and wildlife to visit – and even live in – your garden. These benefits include:
- Looking after vulnerable and endangered species
- Natural form of pest control
- Keep gardens healthy and thriving
How to make your garden a sanctuary for endangered birds
Set up bird feeders
Adding bird feeders to your garden is a great way to attract various different types of birds. You can add seeds, nuts, fat balls and a variety of other foods to your feeder. There is a myth that you do not need to not feed birds in the summer, however, this is not true. You should feed birds throughout the whole year, as they may struggle to find food in any season.
Add bird-friendly plants
Bird-friendly plants can be any plants that attract insects for birds to feed on, plants containing berries that birds can eat or plants or trees that provide shelter and a safe space for birds to nest. Examples of bird-friendly plants include sunflowers, cosmos and foxgloves.
Provide clean water
Water is essential for birds to survive, as they need it to drink and bathe. If you have space, it is a great idea to add a pond to your garden. Or If you are unable to, a bird bath is also an effective choice. Note that if you decide on a bird bath, you must clean it regularly – around once a week or more often if you see a build-up of dirt or algae. Meanwhile, a pond requires regular maintenance but a thorough clean can be carried out less often.
In Autumn, you should remove all fallen leaves from your pond with a net. Similarly, in summer, you may have an overgrowth of plants that have taken over your pond, which should also be removed. In terms of the types of water to offer birds, fresh rainwater and tap water are ideal.
Trees, hedges and bushes all provide nesting sites and shelter for birds. Birds can stay safe here from potential predators or other animals that scare them. Another option is a bird box. Bird boxes are appealing to birds and offer a great way to make the most of smaller spaces. Your bird box should be placed in an area where birds can be undisturbed from domestic animals or other animals that may cause them harm.
How to make your garden a sanctuary for wildlife
The process of attracting wildlife to your garden is similar to attracting birds. Our top tips are:
Create a comfortable, welcoming space
Creating a cosy space is the first step to inviting wildlife to your garden. It is also a great way to attract specific species. For example, to attract hedgehogs, you can create a hedgehog house and to attract birds, a bird box.
Let your grass grow
Allowing your grass to grow provides shelter for small animals, enabling them to hide behind the grass or even breed there. As a pro tip, if you find animals shielding in the grass but need to cut it, we recommend waiting until the end of winter or the start of spring so they have enough time to find a new home.
Along with bringing benefits to wildlife, longer lawns bring various other benefits, too. They help keep our lawns greener for longer and reduce their need for water. For this reason, longer lawns are set to be one of the biggest gardening trends of 2023. With the Summer of 2022 hitting new temperature records and making it impossible to keep our lawns green, longer lawns, wildflower meadows and embracing weeds are all things we will start to see more of this year.
Provide food and water
Providing food and water is essential in making your garden a sanctuary for wildlife, as it fulfils the animals’ basic needs. If you have space, adding a pond would be extremely beneficial for various animals, however if you are limited on space then a large bowl will do, depending on which animals you aim to attract to your garden.
There are several ways you can provide animals with food, and one of the best ways is to attract insects. Creating a garden that attracts insects ensures you have plenty of food for various insect-eating animals.
Refrain from using pesticides
These chemical-filled products can be extremely harmful to animals, and can even be fatal. Pesticides can harm or kill animals like squirrels, owls and a whole host of other wildlife. If you need to use pesticides in your wildlife-friendly garden, we recommend opting for natural pesticides instead, which will not be harmful to your furry friends.
Wildlife-friendly flowers to add to your garden
Dahlias (single-flowered varieties)
Double-flowers are beautiful, but sadly there are too many petals for the bees to reach the nectar. So, opt for more single-flowered varieties, including; ‘Dahlegria Red’, ‘Bishop of Auckland’ and ‘Totally Tangerine’.
Gaillardia (Sunset Cutie)
A summer favourite and with so many different colour variations it’s hard to know which one to choose! However, watching the bees bundling themselves into each flower is always a joy.
These may be an annual but the bright whites and pinks are gorgeous in a flower bed and are loved by bees, butterflies and bugs alike.
Salvias (Hot Lips)
This is a great wildflower that you will have seen on grass verges or on a woodland walk, which is why it makes such a good choice for your garden and it’s a perennial too so you can enjoy it year after year.
You can grow them from seed or we sell them as small potted plants. Sunflowers are not only loved by bees, but once they have finished flowering, they are great food sources for the birds too!
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