wildlife gardening

Wildlife gardening

Making your garden wildlife friendly

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. So check out our list of tips and advice below to see what visitors you get in your garden!

Bird on bird feeder

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.  
Hedgehog in garden
  • 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.
Birds in a bird bath
  • 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.
compost heap
  • 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.
Wildflower meadow
  • 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.
Sowing seeds

More ways to support wildlife

Check out our illustrated list of small actions you can do to make a big difference to wildlife at https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions

Filling bird feeder

Credit: Nick Upton

Vine House Farm Bird Foods

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 Staffordshire Wildlife Trust giving us  £10 for every new customer from Staffordshire and 4% of all ongoing sales.   So not only will you caring for the birds in your garden, you are also supporting  your local Wildlife Trust in looking after the wild places on your doorstep.

Find out more
Wild about Gardens

Wild About Garden's Booklets

Each year we release a special themed Wild About Garden Booklet about a specific species to give you ideas on how to welcome wildlife into your garden. The booklets are filled with advice, facts and fun activities for little ones. Click the link to see our list of FREE downloadable booklets and find out more about how you can support wildlife on your doorstep  >>> https://www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk/

Support wildlife beyond your garden

Getting the family involved - gardening

What a great activity to get children involved with wildlife. Gardening teaches little ones the importance of making your garden wildlife friendly in the hope that our gardens will be abundant with wildlife for generations to come and you never know what amazing creatures you'll discover as you tend to your wild space. Download one of our activity sheets below on see lots of ideas on how you and your little ones can get involved with wildlife gardening. Roll up those sleeves and don't be afraid to get dug in!

Child gardening

Make your own bird feeder

Make a simple hedgehog house

Grow your own mini garden meadow

Grow your own veg for wildlife

How to build hidey holes

Grow bee or butterfly garden

How to make an insect hotel