Each of us has a role to play in providing habitat for wildlife in Norfolk as, between us, in our gardens and urban spaces, we are the custodians of huge areas of the county. Though gardens are artificial, they are similar to habitats such as woodland edge and woodland clearings that would once have been widespread across the UK and as such are habitat for many species which inhabit them. In addition, since gardens often have ponds, and are commonly stocked with bird-food, flowering plants, nest-boxes and bee-boxes, they provide many vital resources for wildlife. Together our gardens make up a huge nature reserve throughout the county.
There are many things you can do to make your garden a better habitat for wildlife. See our tips in the list below – the links will allow you to download informative leaflets (PDF) to help get you started! The full list of downloadable leaflets is featured further down the page.
- Enjoy watching wildlife in your garden – the more time you spend watching wildlife the more you will understand its needs
- First do no harm! Avoid using poisons in the garden – avoid killing things – this includes wasps and spiders!
- Don’t be too tidy – wildlife thrives in undisturbed areas – leave some areas even if small as wild areas
- Wildlife needs food, water and shelter – consider how your garden can meet these needs
- How green is your garden? Recycle garden waste by composting. Make use of rainwater for watering your plants.
- Small is beautiful - think mini-beasts – gardens which are rich in invertebrates are likely to be good of lots of other wildlife too.
- Love your bees – solitary bee homes really work! Bees need need nectar from February to November.
- Love your butterflies – plant traditional nectar-rich species not showy hybrids
- Provide some fresh water – however small and keep it topped up
- Compost counts – save yourself money and help wildlife
- Dead wood – a well sited log pile will provide an important habitat
- Let your grass flower – long grass is beautiful and often a missing habitat in gardens
- Trim hedges in autumn or winter before birds start nesting in them
- Turn your lawn into a native wildflower meadow
Bumblebee and painted lady butterfly, by Jason Gaskin
Starling, by Jackie Dent
Action For Insects
41% of insect species face extinction. The loss of their habitats and overuse of pesticides are two major reasons why these little creatures are dying out eight times faster than large mammals. However, it’s not too late and with your help, we can put insects into recovery.
Take Action For Insects and download a free guide, which will help you to:
- Create a wildlife and insect-friendly garden
- Plan your garden and choose the right plants
- Stop using harmful chemicals inside your home and in your garden
- Make lifestyle changes that will benefit insects
Wild About Gardens
The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society have set up Wild About Gardens to celebrate wildlife gardening, and are calling on gardeners to get growing to help the UK’s falling numbers of butterflies and moths.
Download a free booklet with advice and easy tips designed to make your outdoor spaces more attractive to butterflies, moths and their caterpillars.
Improving your garden for wildlife
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