Help in the garden

Wildlife Gardening Tips

Tips for making our gardens more wildlife friendly.

frog | Wild about Bath

How can you create a wildlife pond?

Of all the habitats you can create to help wildlife, a pond is probably the most beneficial.

The RSPB web site gives instructions for a variety of water/damp environments for wildlife – a small container pond, a larger pond, a bog area and damp ditch.

Visit RSPB website
building a pond

Medium Ponds

If you prefer to watch a video, this one is good for making a medium sized pond:

Container Ponds

This video is on making a container pond:

How do I make a Hedgehog Corridor?.

Hedgehogs need to walk a mile or more in a night looking for food and a mate. Our gardens are too often too small to feed a hedgehog and they can starve if limited to one garden. You can help by creating safe corridors from your garden to the one next door.

This is a great activity to do with your neighbours to connect your gardens.

Visit RSPB website

How do I make a Hedgehog House?

Hedgehog numbers in the UK have fallen by more than 30% over the last 10 years.

Garden pesticides, contaminated water, loss of habitat and traffic collisions have all led to a dramatic fall in UK hedgehog numbers and there are now thought to be less than one million wild hedgehogs left.

By providing safe places for hedgehogs to live, you’re much more likely to see them in your garden.

The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has instructions for making both simple and deluxe hedgehog houses.

butterfly bee

Why is it important to have pollen and nectar for pollinators for as much of the year as possible?

We know that pollinators are in serious decline. Gardens play a vital role to supporting our bees and other pollinators with food and nesting sites. It is most beneficial if there is food for as much of the year as possible.

The RHS has a list of plant for pollinators, click on the link below.

Visit RSPB website

The Friends of the Earth website has an illustrated list of bee friendly plants flowering for most of the year:

Visit Bee-friendly Plants list
Caterpillar | Wild about Bath

What are good host plants for caterpillars?

Butterflies will lay their eggs on plants that their caterpillars will eat, so we need a range of different plants suitable for them.

The RSPB has a guide to get you started growing suitable plants for butterflies

Butterfly Conservation has a good list of trees and plants that are caterpillar food plants, and of plants that are good for adult butterflies.


Why is a fish free pond best for wildlife?

Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s pond survey data found that fish – even small numbers of tiny stickleback – can significantly reduce the wildlife value of a pond.

Visit Suffolk Wildlife Trust website

Why is mowing less often helpful for wildlife?

Monty Don says ‘letting grass grow, which is, after all, a pretty passive thing to do, is probably the single most effective thing you can do in any garden of any size to encourage particularly insect life, but also small mammals, invertebrates, reptiles.’

Try leaving just a part of your lawn uncut, or keep neat cut paths running through long grass. You will be surprised at what will grow!

Sign up for Plantlife’s #SayNoMow challenge:
bat illustration | Wild about Bath

How can I make a Bat Roosting Box?

The Bat Conservation Trust has information about different types of bat box.

On the last page of this information sheet is a guide to making your own bat box.

Be aware that in Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Meadow flowers

Why is creating a meadow area in a container or in an area of garden so helpful for wildlife?

97% of our meadows have been destroyed since the 1930s. We are told that an acre of meadow can feed 83,000 bees a day so the impact of this loss on pollinators is huge.

Making Meadows

Peat free | Wild about Bath

Why should we use peat free compost?

The RHS says ‘Peatlands are the world’s largest carbon store on land. These natural boggy areas provide valuable ecosystems for both plants and animals. When we take peat for our gardens, carbon emissions are released and habitats are damaged.’

There are many good peat free composts on the market.

RHS Peat Free Compost Guide

Why are using Forest Stewardship Council wood and wood products important?

The Forest Stewardship Council promotes the responsible management of the world’s forests. By choosing products with FSC labels, you also are helping to take care of the world’s forests.

No Dig | Wild about Bath

What is no dig gardening?

No dig gardening – especially for vegetables – is a way to care for the soil, reduce weeds, increase your crop, and not hurt your back by digging!

Charles Dowding has pioneered this. His FAQs page is a good place to start.

Why is it helpful for wildlife?

The soil structure is preserved with many benefits including for micro-organisms and invertebrates.