We had such an amazing response to our Save Britain’s Meadows campaign (if you haven’t already done it, click here and we’ll make a donation to Plantlife on your behalf) that we know we aren’t the only people who think our countryside is unbelievably precious.
It’s also why we are doing everything we can to help our friends at Jordans to spread the word about their 10% challenge. The idea is very simple – give up 10% of your outside space (it doesn’t matter if it’s just a window box or a whole field) to create a wildlife-friendly home. Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot to give up, every little bit makes a difference.
To help you on your way, here are Jordans’ Top Ten Tips for making your own home-grown wildlife haven:
1. Choose Pollen and Nectar Rich Flowers
Growing pollen and nectar rich flowers provides an important source of protein and energy for bees and butterflies. Plant them in a sunny spot, water regularly and you’ll see them flourish – along with the wildlife they attract. And if you can, chose British species and support our native flora.
2. Use Plants to Create Wildlife Corridors
Wildlife corridors mean that the creatures in your garden can move around safely and meet other populations. So think about this when you’re planning – for instance creating cover from bushes and plants to water sources.
3. Get Some Boxes
All wildlife needs a safe place to live and you can help by installing boxes for birds, bees, butterflies, other friendly bugs and even bats. Needless to say, keep them out of reach of the cat, and clear out bird boxes after every nesting ready for another use.
4. Add Insect-tastic Plants
Birds prefer tasty insects to stale bread, so plant to promote the beneficial insects which birds can eat. Certain insects can also help keep control aphids and other nasties too.
5. Plant A Tree or Even A Hedgerow
Trees and hedges will bring more birds to your garden – they provide places to nest and shelter, as well as food from fruit and seeds and of course the insects that live on them.
6. Make A Wildflower Meadow
It’ll look beautiful and attract butterflies, plus it needs less maintenance than a normal grass lawn. Choose native wildflowers that you love and plant them in the autumn. An easy option is to buy wildlife turf that you can just roll out.
7. Make Sure There’s Water
Upturned bin lids of water, elaborate sculpted bird baths, rogue buckets, make-shift ponds or fancy water features – whatever your watery preference, they’re magnets to all sorts of wildlife.
8. Hang Around
Hanging baskets not only look lovely but can also provide a great habitat for birds and bees – helping to make up your 10%. And if you’re clever with seasonal planting, they don’t just have to be for spring or summer.
9. Leave An Untidy Corner
Fight the desire to tidy every last little bit of your garden. Small untidy areas such as a little space behind the shed can be a haven for wildlife. Piles of twigs, leaves and long grass are the perfect habitat for lots of different creatures.
10. Plant Vertically
Bare walls don’t help anyone. So plant vertically, whether it’s ivy up a garage wall or honeysuckle on your house. You’ll find that all sorts of wildlife will then be able to take advantage of this new foliage.