If you're fortunate enough to have a garden or outside space, no matter how big or small it is, there are always things you can do to make it more friendly for wildlife.
- Cut your grass less often. Letting your grass grow a bit longer lets plants like daisies grow and long grass is loved by lots of animals
- Creating a pond is a brilliant way to support wildlife in your garden, from birds to bugs. Even a simple dustbin lid or buried bucket full of water can do the job - just ensure you put some rocks in the water to prevent wildlife from drowning
- Embrace weeds. We may not love the look of them but nettles and buttercups are food for moths, butterflies and other insects
- Provide homes for wildlife and bugs, whether that's a bird box, a bug hotel, or just a pile of logs and deadwood
Photo credit: Julia Moyse
Six Tips to Help Hedgehogs
- Don’t use chemicals such as slug pellets and avoid using pesticides altogether
- Be a bit less tidy! Let autumn leaves rot where they fall/leave areas uncut over winter. Always check for hedgehogs before cutting long grass/bramble
- Ensure you have a shallow end /ramp if you have a pond. Hedgehogs are good swimmers but will need a way of climbing out
- Think wildlife whenever you have a bonfire. Build as you burn/check for wildlife in the bonfire before lighting
- Remove litter and check for netting which hedgehogs and other animals can get tangled in
- Never put out bread and milk as makes hedgehogs ill-lactose intolerant. Bread doesn’t give them very many nutrients. Use a meat-based dog or cat food and leave a saucer of water
Creating Wildlife Highways
You can create connected habitats by creating wildlife highways in your gardens so animals can pass from garden to garden safely.
The number one thing can do to help hedgehogs is by creating a hole in your fence. All they need is a small ground level hole the size of a CD (13cm by 13cm).
This can be a hole in a fence or wall, gap under a gate or even a hole dug under the fence /wall.Even better... persuade your neighbours to do same so you create a super highway and it helps to keep hedgehogs off roads!
Wildlife-Friendly Gardening Online Talk and Q&A
Would you like to do more to support nature and biodiversity? Have you always wanted your garden to be a haven for wildlife?
In July the Dedham Vale and Coast & Heaths Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) team held a free online wildlife-friendly gardening talk and Q&A.
We explained the basics and more information about the simple things you can do to help nature and wildlife in your own outdoor space, no matter how big or small your garden is!