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Lawns for wildlife

Male blackbird on garden lawn

Blackbirds come to feed on worms and insects they find in lawns

Image: Chris Gomersall

The lawn is the focal point of many gardens. It's a place to let off steam or sit and relax, but also a valuable habitat for wildlife.

Lawns provide a home for many insects that are eaten by birds and other wildlife. Those rich in organic matter are likely to have good numbers of earthworms - the staple winter and spring diet of song thrushes and much relished by blackbirds.

Lawns can also provide seed for birds. Those of annual meadow grass, plantain, buttercup and dandelion are particular favourites.

You can improve your lawn for birds and wildlife by simply avoiding the use of weed killers and artificial fertilisers, or go a step further and look at alternative ways to manage your lawn.

Any area of short grass will act as a feeding area for birds. Longer grass provides shelter and egg-laying opportunities for the insects on which birds and other wildlife feed. Providing areas of grass of different heights, which are cut at different times of the year, optimises food potential.

Read on to find out about creating and managing wildlife-friendly lawns.

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Carder bumblebee harvesting nectar

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