Top 5 tips for a harmonious garden
1. Give your cat a bellCats’ natural hunting instincts mean they can be a bit of a threat to garden birds. If you have a pet cat then make sure it wears a collar with a bell attached so birds get an early warning when there’s a predator about.
2. Plants, plants, plantsA good rule of thumb is that the more plants you grow, the better it is for wildlife, which is a great excuse to get out there and fill your garden with greenery. Grow flowers in amongst your vegetables, climbers up the walls, and in pots on your patio.
3. Cut out the chemicalsWhere possible, avoid using chemicals to kill creepy crawlies or weeds. Pesticides can knock vital layers out of the food chain, when there are often much more constructive ways of working with nature to sustain a healthy garden.
4. Store up your water for (the opposite of) a rainy dayWith all the rain we’ve had lately it may seem odd to suggest storing it up to water your plants with, but only a few months ago many of us were in a drought. Water butts are very environmentally friendly because they collect and store rain water, allowing you to recycle it and give your plants a good drink at the same time.
5. Let hedges be for few more monthsThe main breeding period for garden birds is between 1 March and the end of August, so it's best to avoid cutting trees or hedges during this time so as not to disturb any nests. Conifers can provide nesting sites for a variety of species at this time including blackbirds, robins, greenfinch, goldcrest and even larger birds such as sparrowhawks and crows, so real care needs to be taken during any cutting.