The Nature Connection: Creating A Wildlife-Friendly Garden 

With the ongoing urbanization and expansion of human settlements, trees, and plants are gradually replaced by roads and skyscrapers, and natural sceneries transition into concrete jungles. This phenomenon is not only weakening our inherent bond with nature but it also has a damaging effect on flora and fauna worldwide, leading to biodiversity loss.  

In the UK, the urbanization rate was estimated at 84.4% in 2022, marking a 3% increase over the past decade. At the same time, statistics also reveal that almost 87% of UK households have a garden whose total surface is larger than that of the country’s joint nature reserves. This would be great news if most of these gardens weren’t occupied by paving, concrete, and other hard surfaces which don’t exactly create a welcoming environment for different wild species to prosper. 

If you’re fortunate enough to have a garden or a patio, as small as it may be, you have the opportunity to use it to strengthen your connection with nature and give wildlife a helping hand. Small changes can make a huge difference in this respect, so here’s what you can do to turn your little nature corner into a wildlife sanctuary. 

The Nature Connection

Cultivate your green thumb 

If you want wild animals to feel at home in your garden, you have to keep it healthy and thriving and for that, you need to learn a thing or two about plant care. Contrary to common belief, having a green thumb is not a mystical quality that only certain people possess; it’s a skill that you cultivate in time, with patience, practice, and passion for the natural world. 

You simply have to acquire the necessary knowledge and abilities to care for plants properly and provide them with the right conditions. There are plenty of online resources that can teach you everything you need to know about gardening and help you make the most of your outdoor space. 

When it comes to choosing plants, it’s best to populate your garden with native species that grow in your region. Not only are they more resilient and easier to care for as they have adapted to local climate conditions, but they will also naturally attract birds, butterflies, and other animals. Diversity is also important, so you should try to grow a variety of plants in your garden, directly in the ground, if the soil is of good quality, or in outdoor planters

Add a source of water 

A fresh source of water can be a magnet for wildlife, attracting different species of animals and birds which will come to quench their thirst in your garden. If space allows and you have the resources, you can build a pond and even add fish to it. That will help you create a permanent source of water for nature’s little critters and add an interesting feature to your landscape at the same time.  

However, if a pond seems like too much trouble for you, there are much easier ways to go about it such as placing bowls around the garden or installing a bird bath or a small water fountain. As long as you keep the water fresh and clean, you can be sure the wildlife population will increase. 

Feed the birds 

There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by the sound of chirping birds the moment you step outside. Apart from planting trees and caring for them to encourage more birds to visit your garden or even build their homes in your canopy, you can also provide them with some food. 

Bird feeders are a simple and effective way to attract birds of all species and enjoy their beautiful songs. You can buy feeders from your local pet shop or make one yourself from a plastic bottle. Add a seed mix or insects, depending on what type of birds you want to bring to your garden and then place the feeders in trees or attach them to your hanging planters to make it easier for birds to have access to them. 

Create wildlife shelters 

There are many wildlife species that can make your garden their home as long as you provide them with the basic materials. Animals and birds are quite resourceful when it comes to building their houses.

All you have to do is plant some native shrubs in your garden, dot it with rocks of different sizes, leave some rotting logs in a corner, and drill some holes in pruned branches and they’ll find a way to use all these supplies and spaces to take shelter. 

It’s also a good idea to let nature do its thing and refrain from excessively manicuring your garden. Wildlife appreciates wild landscapes so a perfectly trimmed lawn is not the type of setting that appeals to them. 

Control pests  

While you want to welcome all sorts of animal species into your garden, you have to make sure things don’t get out of control due to pests. Rats, mice, or slugs can wreak havoc on your garden and drive wild animals away. That’s why you need to take immediate measures before their presence turns into a bigger problem. 

However, try not to use pesticides or other harsh chemicals as you’re trying to combat pests as they will also harm other animals. Give wildlife-friendly pest control a try or seek the assistance of a professional pest controller to help you deal with this problem safely and effectively. 

It doesn’t take much to turn your garden into a haven for wildlife and make room for nature to flourish and bestow on you all its gifts. The key is patience and perseverance and in time you’ll be able to create an outdoor space that serves as a perfect spot for relaxation and wildlife watching.

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