We shouldn’t think of gardens as solely our own outdoor space. As a species, we continue to push the habitat of wildlife further and further back. However, our gardens allow us to give some of that space back, to share it with them and happily create an ecosystem that can support all of us. If you have a garden of your own, here are a few ways to make it a place that you can share with your local wildlife to support your area’s eco-diversity.
Helping a hedgehog find a home
Do you live in an area that has hedgehogs? If so, then you might be able to offer them refuge in your garden from predators and from the elements that winter can bring. Building a hedgehog house in your garden gives them a place for winter. Building it is relatively simple, as well.
All you need is some wooden planks that you can nail together into a hut. From there, you just need to insulate it so that it stays nice and warm in winter and to ensure the entrance is big enough for them but not any potential predators.
Welcome our winged friends
Who doesn’t love the idea of waking up to bird song? As such, you might not need too much convincing to take steps to welcome a bird to your home. It’s easy to buy a birdhouse or a seed holder, and you can find bird food online more affordably than you might get it in your local pet store. If you are looking to spruce up your garden and add some curb appeal, consider adding a water feature, too, which birds love to drink and bathe at.
Furthermore, if you see a bird nest in your trees during the spring or summer, avoid trimming the tree or having it too closely maintained until late fall. You could end up disturbing the nest and the parents might not return, abandoning their eggs or chicks.
Protect the pollinators
We should all be aware, by now, of the vital role that bees and other pollinators play in maintaining living standards for us, not just the rest of the ecosystem. Bees are dying at an alarming rate and while the majority of the blame may fall at the feet of industrial uses of pesticide and cutting down their habitats, you can still help them.
Planting a wildflower patch in your garden with a wide variety of shapes and colours will attract them. You can also consider building a solitary bee house that helps shield solitary bees from the weather, giving them the opportunity to find their hive and family once again.
Add some welcoming waters
If you want to increase the biodiversity of your garden, then why not consider adding a pond to it? As mentioned, this source of freshwater is great for birds in the area, as well as bees and all other kinds of local wildlife. But it will also attract frogs, toads, newts, and other wild creatures that find them to be excellent places to breed.
You can build a wildlife pond easily in your own garden. However, you might also want to consider whether you should invest in a pond pump that can help make it optimal for life. If you do want a wildlife pond, then you should think twice about introducing fish to it. They might add some colour, but they will go out of their way to eat the eggs and young of whatever creatures try to make it their home. Plus, having some pond life in your own garden can make for excellent wildlife-themed home school idea.
Choose kinder ways to protect your garden from pests
Arbitrary, selfish, or practical, we all make the distinction between animals that we want to welcome to the garden and the pests that cause more trouble than good. These pests might eat our crops or invade our homes, giving us good reason to keep them away. However, you should think twice about using methods like pesticides that could do just as much harm to the critters you want in your garden. For instance, you can use companion plants that either naturally repel pests or ones that invite predators like ladybirds to do the work for you.
We all have a part to play in making our world a better fit for the other creatures that we share it with. Unless we pull our weight, more species will become endangered, and more will become extinct. If you have a garden, please consider using it to support your local ecosystem, not just your own home life.