The UK has lost almost half of its biodiversity, and increasing garden wildlife is a simple way to help recuperate this loss.
Sow a pot or border with nectar-rich annuals
Bees are vital to maintaining our environment and are also heavily in danger due to human activity. By planting the right kinds of flowers and providing food for bees, hoverflies, butterflies and other pollinators, gardeners play a crucial role in helping these creatures.
Cosmos, dahlias, verbena rigida and Erysimum can all be planted in pots and small spaces and are ideal for encouraging wildlife.
Plant a flowering tree or berry-bearing shrub
Trees give structure, provide shade, and are a great resource for encouraging wildlife. Amelanchier lamarckii (juneberry), acacia baileyana and Crataegus persimilis (prunifolia) are colourful, compact and straightforward to grow and maintain.
Shrubs with autumn berries bring both colour and birds to a garden, and are easy to maintain. Cotoneasters carry a generous crop of red berries and are partially evergreen, while Gaultheria mucronata, known as pernettya, feature berries in a wide array of colours, self-fertilise, and last right through winter.
Make a wildlife pond
Nearly 70% of ponds in the UK have been lost, meaning that garden ponds and water features play an increasingly important role for wildlife. Frogs and toads, dragonflies, swallows and grass snakes will all make use of ponds, whether as a water source or as a thriving habitat with its own ecosystem.
Underwater plants, floating plants, pollinator-friendly marginal plantings and plants that poke up out of the water for emerging larvae are all needed to create a valuable ecosystem for multiple species.
Let a patch of lawn grow long
Having a low-maintenance lawn invites wildlife to integrate into your garden. Let a patch of lawn grow long between March and September, or introduce wildflower plug plants into the sward.
Look for seed or turf that is described as ‘amenity’, ‘multi-purpose’ or ‘hard wearing’. Some mixes will include micro clovers to help reduce the need to water and feed.
Encourage garden birds and provide shelter
Approximately 30 species of birds are regular garden visitors in the UK. A good population of birds in the garden helps to keep caterpillars and aphids in check which would damage plants.
Use different foods and recipes to entice a range of birds, provide water in a shallow container, and keep feeders clean to limit the spread of infection.
Shrubs, hedgerows, and trees all provide natural nest sites for different species. Honeysuckle, hawthorn, blackberry, and elderberry trees all provide food and encourage nesting.
Use our Biodiversity Packs
4th Corner offer biodiversity packs to our clients. We have developed our Biodiversity Packs to engage people with nature and to enhance and protect our landscapes. We hope that these simple additions will help our Property Managers, CLO’s and Resident Committee’s make the most of their gardens and grounds, for the benefit of residents and the native wildlife.
Our Biodiversity Packs include: Bird Boxes, Bug Houses, Galanthus nivalis-common snow drop bulbs, Colchicum autumnale – Autumn crocus, Hebe rakaiensis, Malus baccata-Siberian crab apple tree, – 1.5m to 1.8m, Lavandula angustifolia- English lavender, and Salvia-baby sage ‘Kew Red.
Our Standard Biodiversity Packs are offered with three options, mini, midi and bespoke. We are also delighted to plant and install other individual biodiverse planting solutions to suit individual site and location requirements.
For more information, check out our Biodiversity Packs page.