A guide to encouraging wildlife in your garden

No matter how big or how small your garden is, you can do your bit to encourage and help the wildlife around you.

No matter how big or how small your garden is, you can do your bit to encourage and help the wildlife around you. Even if your 'garden' is on a balcony, there are plenty of ways you can encourage birds and bees with window feeders and bug boxes.

This is a key time for wildlife as it is breeding season, you may see birds flying around searching for and collecting worms for their young. Many different species of bird pop into gardens from time to time, some live in nearby trees, some make homes in nest boxes and some simply call in to see what food is on offer.

You can get a variety of bird food in supermarkets, garden centres or nature reserves. Take a look at the packaging if there are particular birds you want to encourage. A bird feeder also offers you benefits, like, it gives you the opportunity to observe the wonders of nature, and many more

Remember: Always provide a bowl of water or fill a bird bath as birds need plenty to drink especially in this warm weather.

What to look out for…
Once you have created your bug house/hotel, keep checking to see what decides to live there. If you find solitary bees take up residency in the house, you will find their nest building very interesting to watch. You will see them fly in with pieces of mud, pollen and small cuts of leaves that they use to line the nest.

It is useful to plant bee-friendly flowers – they are a great source of food for bees and also make your garden bright and colourful.

House the hedgehogs 

Another popular garden visitor is the hedgehog! Sadly we don’t get to see as many as we used to as the population of hedgehogs is in decline with fewer than 1 million left in the UK. However, these prickly pals are still heading into gardens looking for food and a place to live.

How can you help?
You can buy hedgehog homes, but it’s fun to give it a go yourself and make one from scratch - here’s a guide on how to make your own hedgehog home.

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