Wildlife gardening

Wildlife garden - Tom MarshallWildlife garden - Tom Marshall

Here at Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, we’re passionate about encouraging people to welcome some wild things into their gardens – no matter how large or small your plot is.

Making your garden wildlife-friendly is one of the most positive contributions you can make to the environment – and the rewards are great. As well as being entertained by the fascinating goings-on of the natural world, you will also be introducing a trusty army of soldiers into your garden to feast on any pests that attack your plants.

We have come up with a list of 15 things you can do to attract wildlife in your garden - see how many you can tick off.      

  1. Wildlife pond – creating a pond is one of the best things you can do for wildlife. It will attract a huge range of insects and creatures such as frogs. Birds and mammals will also drink from it. To make it wildlife friendly, ensure the sides are sloping and don’t keep any ornamental fish, such as goldfish, in it.
  2. Log or rock pile – a pile of sticks and logs in a quiet shady corner will soon turn into a hotel for insects and amphibians and will offer food and shelter for mammals and birds.
  3. Habitat box – a bird or bug box will encourage wild creatures to set up home in your garden.
  4. Small animal shelter – provide a box or shelter for bats, mice or hedghogs.  
  5. Bird food – a mixture of seeds, nuts and fatty scraps are a magnet for birds and help them survive the colder months when natural food is scarce.
  6. Drinking water for birds – water is as important as food – for drinking and bathing.
  7. Long grass or native wildflower area – a patch of long grass or native wildflowers in a quiet corner will quickly be inhabited by wildlife.
  8. Compost heap – an eco-friendly way of disposing of organic waste, creating your own compost and providing a habitat for wildlife such as toads.
  9. Slug pellet free – avoid using pellets in your garden as they can be harmful to other creatures that digest them.
  10. Bog or permanently wet area – a good way to use a naturally waterlogged area. Wildlife-friendly bog plants include purple loosestrife, lady’s smock, marsh marigold, water forget-me-not and hemp agrimony.
  11. Native tree or hedge – will provide habitats, shelter and food for wildlife. Good examples include oak, hawthorn, holly, crab apple and rowan.
  12. Climbing plants – ideal if you haven’t get space for a tree or hedge. Ivy has much wildlife value, providing food and a place for shelter, nesting, roosting and hibernating.
  13. Insect-friendly planting – plant some nectar-rich  plants for butterflies, bees and other insects. Examples include buddleia, marjoram, angelica, dill and pot and French marigold
  14. Bird-friendly planting – Berry and seed bearing plants, such as teasel, sunflowers, cotoneaster and mahonia, will provide food for birds.
  15. Patch of nettles – if you have a nettle patch in your garden don’t dig it up – it is like a five-star hotel for ladybirds, bees and butterflies.

Vine House Farm partnership

The Trust has a strong partnership with Vine House Farm, who offer a wide range of wild bird foods and feeding stations that are grown on its conservation award-winning site in East Anglia.

Vine House Farm, as well as being a pioneer of wildlife friendly farming and farmland conservation, also directly supports the Wildlife Trusts and donates 5% of its annual takings.


We have produced a series of factsheets to give you more information about different aspects of wildlife gardening.