Try these tips to encourage wildlife to flourish in your garden

“There is a shortage of natural nesting holes for wild birds, which impacts population numbers of many familiar species. Putting up a nestbox provides shelter and attracts welcome visitors including many insects which act as pollinators and a food source for birds. Safe hideaways also attract hedgehogs, toads and solitary bees, and can be made by combining recycled tiles and pipes with hollow plants stems, dry grass and leaves. For more information on where and when to put up nestboxes, visit nestboxweek.com”

Imogen Stephens, General Manager at Merriments Gardens 

merriments.co.uk

“As well as adding a nestbox or hedgehog home to your garden, remember their residents also need plenty of food. The best starting point is to fill your garden with plants. Fruit trees are amazing for nature: plenty of pollen, blossom, branches and, if you can spare it, fruit! They can be very easy to plant, and grow quickly.”

Anna Feeney, spokesperson for RSPB

rspb.org.uk

“Entice butterflies and moths with Primrose, Blackthorn, and April flowering native Common Dog-Violet, which all provide an early source of nectar and pollen. Planting or sowing Common Bird’s-Foot Trefoil, Red Clover, Common Knapweed, Field Scabious and Wild Marjoram on bare ground in April will also give you a boost in summer flowers that will encourage more butterflies to use their gardens later in the year. Catering for hungry caterpillars is easy too; just leave grasses, Common Nettle, Common Ivy, Bramble and Dandelion to grow wild around the compost area. You can target specific species too: Common Sorrel is great for the Small Copper and thistle species are good for the Painted Lady, whilst Wild Teasel is attractive to the adult Red Admiral and Peacock.”

Isobel Girvan, Principal Ecologist at Surrey Wildlife Trust 

surreywildlifetrust.org

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