Skip to main content

How to Create a Wildlife Haven in your Backyard

Making our gardens and outdoor spaces wildlife havens are one way we can help restore the balance of nature, attracting pollinators and insects back into our gardens and lives. That is good news for everyone and everything!

Modern-day, intensive farming methods have had a devastating impact on nature and have undoubtedly led to the dramatic decline in the world’s pollinators, birds and insects. This loss poses a serious threat to mankind.

Although our staple food crops; like rice, wheat and maize are pollinated by the wind, many of our most favourite fruits and vegetables – from cucumbers to squash and strawberries to grapes need pollinators to survive. The same goes for cocoa, coffee, avocados, apples and almonds, in fact, 85% of plants exist because of bees!

Without pollinators, our vast food halls and supermarkets would be a far cry from where they are today, as over half of the foods they stock would simply vanish from their shelves.

Recognising that everything we do has consequences will help us, not just take responsibility for our lives, but, take positive action so that we can reduce our impact on the world and learn to live in a way that is better for people, place and planet too.

Follow our top tips and watch your garden burst into life.


Leave space for a wild meadow

Even the smallest space can become a wildlife haven, a natural environment that birds, butterflies, bees and insects will all enjoy – they are easy to create, are very low maintenance and they look utterly gorgeous too. Try scattering a pack of wild flower seeds or throw a seed bomb, or two, then sit back and watch the magic appear.

Be bold

Look to grow a variety of plants and flowers that provide a rich supply of pollen and nectar. Plant flowers that are bursting with colour and include native and non-native species alike. Don’t forget to grow some climbers too, as these make perfect safe havens for many of our pollinators, including bees, butterflies and many birds and insects. Planting climbers like ivy, for example, against a barren wall or fence will enhance your environment too. Try adding spring flowers like crocus and snowdrops, then add some abelia, honeysuckle, hawthorn, foxglove, crab apple, lavender, dahlias, heather, marigold, sunflower, echinacea, plus herbs like thyme, chives, marjoram, rosemary and borage and fruits like strawberry and vegetables, including runner beans.
Whatever you plant, remember to take time to enjoy your space.

Make a pond

Ponds aren’t just for those with a stately home or an expansive lawn. They can come in all shapes and sizes, even an old metal tub can be transformed into a simple pond that can work to enhance your outdoor space.

Let your grass grow longer

We may all want our gardens and lawns to be perfect, however nature likes a little less order, so one thing we can all do is mow less often. Allowing our lawn weeds to stay a while longer is a fantastic way of helping wildlife as lawn weeds like daisies and dandelions are a firm favourite with our pollinators and insects too.

Make a bug hotel

Creating a safe haven for some of our smallest friends is easy to make and nature will thank us too! This simple bug hotel is guaranteed to bring visitors to stay and is a great activity for kids. All you need is 15-20 pieces of bamboo or hollow cane about 15cm long and some garden twine or string. Tie them into a bunch and place your bug hotel in a quiet corner of your garden.

Add some bird feeders and a few nesting boxes too

Having birds visit our gardens is good for our soul and putting out wild bird food is an obvious way to encourage birds into our yards and lives.

Get composting

Composting is one of the easiest ways we can improve our soil and growing success. It will also help us reduce the amount of food we waste which has significant benefits to the environment including improved on air quality.

Install a water butt

Harvesting rainwater is one of the easiest things we can all do to make a positive difference. It will lower our water bills, reduce demand on vital groundwater, help mitigate against flooding and it can even aid plant growth.

Avoid using nasty pesticides

Let’s face it, the dazzling array of harmful chemical and pesticides developed in laboratories that make up so much of our agricultural landscape are playing havoc with the balance of nature. Pesticide use has not just been linked with a loss of biodiversity, they have a detrimental effect on our health and wellbeing too. As pesticides contain three highly dangerous chemicals; namely arsenic, ethylene and linadane.These chemical concoctions are what we call ‘carcinogens’ and these have even been linked with some cancers - so let’s get chemical wise and say NO.

Provide some fresh drinking water

As well as providing food for our birds, bees and insects it is important that we also add some water. If you don’t like the idea of a traditional bird bath you can simply add a flat saucer or if space is limited, why not get inventive and suspend a gorgeous bowl or container from a safe branch or pole? Whatever you use, it needs to have sloped sides, as this makes it easier for your visitors to use.
Christine Farrell

Author Christine Farrell

More posts by Christine Farrell

Leave a Reply