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Wildlife flourishing in the garden

 

Biodiversity

In your garden as well as in the countryside at large there are complex interactions between living things making the tiniest insect, lichen or fungus of huge significance to the larger birds and mammals.

There are several ways that you can encourage biodiversity in your own garden.

• Ornamental plants will help to provide a food source for insects and if you use a variety of plants that flower and fruit at different times of year, you are providing this food over a long period of time. Pollen and nectar rich plants are liked by bees, butterflies and other insects, and fruiting trees by mammals and birds. Moths gather their food at night and so like night flowering or scented plant species.

• Use dead wood as a garden ornament or create a log pile. This will benefit invertebrates, fungi, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

• Grasses and perennials with large seed heads will provide a food source for birds over the Winter so avoid cutting them back until the spring.

• Reduce or eliminate the use of chemicals. They may kill the insects you dislike, but these insects are part of the food chain for some birds.

• Avoid having fish in a pond. This will enable amphibians to spawn, and these will help to control slugs and snails.

• Long grass is a haven for many insects so reduce the size of your lawn or leave part of it uncut.

• If you have the time and patience, you could turn part of your lawn into a wildflower meadow.

• Put up bird feeders and bat boxes.

• Consider the source of the materials you use in the garden e.g. is the wood you are using of FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) origin, are your bulbs not taken from the wild, can you use reclaimed materials instead of new.

 
  More ways to look after the environment