Tips for wildlife-friendly gardening

Wildlife-friendly gardening top tips

The Fellfoot Forward wildlife-friendly gardening webinar was packed with useful information from our local volunteer experts on pond creation and maintenance, planting, creating habitats, recycling, and composting, as well as watching and learning from wildlife spotted in the garden. As the weather gets warmer, we’ve complied ten top tips for wildlife-friendly gardening which we will be adding here and on social media.

Top tip no.1: Only dig what you need to

Digging destroys soil structure which isn’t good for healthy soil, plant growth, or helping wildlife. Save yourself the time and effort and dig areas as little as possible.

Top tip no.2: Go for native and nectar rich plants

Try to provide nectar sources for as long as possible from the beginning of the year to the end. You don’t need loads of space to help our pollinators. Lots of native wildflower seed can thrive in pots, providing they are well-drained and watered. Cornflowers, wild pansies, poppies, corn marigolds, corn buttercups and scabious will all put on a colourful display and provide nectar for butterflies, bees and other pollinators.

Image credit: Osmia bicornis, red mason bee (c)

Top tip no.3: Recycle your garden waste

Recycle as much of your garden and kitchen waste as you can in your garden. Your green waste is a valuable resource so, rather than throwing it away, turn it into compost to help plant growth and to use as a mulch to suppress weeds (which complements the no dig approach).

Top tip no.4: Create a wild area.

Leave an area in your garden wild to encourage insects and other invertebrates who will help pollinate plants and improve the quality of your soil by breaking down vegetation.

Top tip no.5: Don’t buy peat-enriched compost.

One metre of peat takes over one thousand years to form. Peat is a significant store of carbon, has a role in flood control and maintaining water quality, and provides vital habitats for rare and unique wildlife. Extracting peat for garden compost has already destroyed thousands of hectares of pristine habitat, in this country and elsewhere in Europe. Peat-free compost alternatives will work just as well in your garden, and mean that we can protect the remaining peat bogs and their unique habitats.

Wildlife-friendly gardening webinar

Our thanks to our local volunteer experts – Kirkoswald Environmental group and Howard Quinn, Linda Robinson, John Miles, Peter Clarke, and Stuart Colgate – who contributed to the  webinar on 29 January 2021, as well as everyone who attended. Watch the video below:

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