Guarding a Place for Nature

We are delighted to announce the launch of our autumn campaign, A Wild Autumn with Abbeyfield. The campaign is themed around autumn wildlife, giving residents, staff and friends of Abbeyfield the opportunity to explore and learn a bit more about your outdoor space and the weird and wonderful creatures that reside there.

We want to help celebrate, protect and encourage garden wildlife at your house, home or community. Whatever sort of outdoor space you have, we'd love to see you use it to create a safe and hospitable place for wildlife.

Why wildlife?

The United Kingdom stands as one of the most ecologically depleted nations globally. According to the WWF, despite nature's resilient struggle for survival, over 14% of native species are on the brink of extinction, and more than 40% are experiencing a decline in their populations.

Biodiversity – the range of wildlife in your garden – is important to protect the environment in which we live. Without the incredible variety of animals and plants, we could not have a healthy ecosystem to provide us with the air we breathe and the food we eat. Food-producing pollinators, soil-enriching bugs and oxygen-giving plants are all essential for our physical health, while a diverse and colourful outdoor space can also do wonders for one’s mental health.

In a bid to highlight the depletion of wildlife in the UK and improve biodiversity in our gardens, we chose wildlife as our theme.

Abbeyfield houses and homes come in a whole array of shapes and sizes, as do the spaces surrounding them. Some of our services have grand, landscaped gardens, perfect for parties and fêtes; others have a small courtyard with a more intimate feel, ideal for relaxing with a cuppa; and all are home to a great variety of wildlife, with creatures great and small.

Whatever outdoor space you have to enjoy, there are many activities you can get involved in to discover something new on your doorstep, encourage animals, birds and insects to move in, and get creative around the theme of wildlife.

Build a safe haven

One likely way to encourage wildlife to take up residence in your garden is to give them a home that is suited to their needs – much like we provide for our residents. We’ve picked five animal homes and feeders that you might want to create, with instructions included.

Recycled or Cake Bird Feeder Image

Recycled or Cake Bird Feeder

Birds will be stocking up for winter. The simple bird feeders in our guide below will help them, then you can sit back and watch them at work. They are perfect for decorating, so get creative!

Hedgehog House Image

Hedgehog House

Hedgehog houses are great for hibernation in the winter and nesting mothers in the spring and summer. Hedgehogs are important as they eat other bugs that may damage plants and vegetables.

Frog House Image

Frog House

Frogs and toads don’t hibernate, but they are still inactive over the winter. Frogs will prefer wetter conditions than toads, but they don’t drown as they can breath through their skin!

Bug Hotel Image

Bug Hotel

A well-built bug hotel could provide shelter for bees, woodlice, spiders, frogs and hedgehogs during the winter, helping to ensure the future of your garden’s wildlife.

Plant a seed

Although some may think of autumn as a time when wildlife begins to shut down for the winter, your outdoor space will still be teeming with life.

It could be the perfect time to plant new trees, shrubs, climbers, flowers and hedges, as they will have all winter to establish themselves, giving them a great chance of beating the spring frosts.

You can find some excellent free guides on what, when and where to plant over the autumn on the RHS and the Tree Council websites, and your local garden centre or tree nursery can provide advice.

You may be able to join in with a seed-gathering event in your local area for Seed Gathering Season. You could gather tree seeds in preparation for planting next year, or fruit and nuts to add something tasty to your meals. The Tree Council provides some top tips for seed gathering and some useful free guides to download for identifying different seeds.

Share your creations

We'll be sharing the fantastic creations and activities our residents get up to over the coming weeks, but we'd love to see yours too! Don’t forget to share how you got involved on social media by tagging us on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #WildAbbeyfield.


Discover more ways you can help nature

How to encourage bees into your garden Image

How to encourage bees into your garden

Bees play a vital role in pollinating plants, helping them to produce fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Without bees, our gardens and crops would struggle to survive, so it's important to encourage them into our gardens whenever possible.

How to upcycle your garden furniture Image

How to upcycle your garden furniture

Outdoor furniture can sometimes look a little worse for wear! Here we have some ideas for making your furniture look new again.

A guide to encouraging wildlife in your garden Image

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.