Make your space work for you and nature too

Guide

Outside space can serve many purposes, whether you have a garden, yard or balcony. It might be a place for children to play, somewhere for the dog to run around, a patch for growing vegetables and fruit, and not to mention relaxing and entertaining friends and family. So where does wildlife fit into all this? Helping wildlife in your garden might not feel like a priority, given everything else your garden needs to be. The good news is you don’t have to choose between a garden being a space for you or being a space for wildlife. It’s possible to accommodate wildlife in your outdoor space, whatever your needs.

Easy ways to help wildlife

Your lawn might be a mini football pitch and a place for a spot of sunbathing. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t leave a strip of it, where you let the grass grow long or where you plant meadow flowers.

Likewise, your shed’s primary function may be a DIY zone and bike store, but at the same time it could have a green roof, or you could grow climbers up it or put a birdbox on it. Or all three!

Good for nature, good for you

Incorporating wildlife into your thinking can often help you too. For example, climbers up the walls of your home can insulate it from cold in winter and heat in summer, and they also provide a nesting place for robins and sparrows.

Your veg bed may be where you grow food, but you could also grow flowers among the vegetables. The flowers will help wildlife and also draw in beneficial insects such as ladybirds and hoverflies, which will in turn help rid your crops of pests. You win, nature wins.

A few handy hints

  • Grow nature-friendly climbers on fences and walls. They look great and they provide food and shelter for wildlife.
  • Add a nest box to your shed
  • Plant wildlife-friendly flowers among your vegetables. The insects you attract may well eat the bugs that plague your veg!
  • Reserve a strip of your lawn for wildflowers