The expression ‘in your own backyard’ is literally how close many of us will get to witnessing the wonders of nature. No matter what the size or shape of your garden, it can attract a wide variety of wild plants and animals.

Your garden, like it or not, is home to an astonishing variety of creatures that spend 24 hours a day eating plants and each other, mostly without being noticed. Studies have shown that up to 2000 species of insects alone can be found in gardens, even in gardens not managed for wildlife.

The food chain begins with plants and the wider the range of plants you grow the wider the variety of insects you will attract. Keep an eye out for Bumblebees, Hover flies, and Butterflies that feed off the nectar of flowering plants or Ladybirds and their larvae feeding on aphids.

With more insects in your garden, the birds will literally flock in to feed on them. Keep an eye out for Robins, Blackbirds, Sparrows, Wrens, Thrushes, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches and of course Magpies. Blackbirds and Thrushes are good to have around in your garden as they eat your gardenplant-eating slugs and snails. If you don’t have much tree cover you could try hanging up some bird-boxes, which might encourage the birds to stay a little longer. In wintertime, you can put up some birdfeeders with peanuts and seeds near your window, so that you can enjoy these birds from the comfort of your armchair.

Ponds are another magnet for wildlife, attracting frogs, newts, dragonflies and many other insects. In spring, keep an eye out for frog spawn and tadpoles, while later in the summer you can see the dragonflies and damselflies hovering above the water to lay their eggs.

If you have a pile of rotten tree logs or have some neglected corners in your garden, you may even get a hedgehog or fox in your garden.

Want to do some more for wildlife in your garden? Then get involved in making your garden more attractive to wildlife. Check out the publications page of this website for more information on how to make your garden more attractive to wildlife.
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