You can easily turn your outdoor space into a biodiverse haven, whether you’ve got acres of land or a tiny little garden. The best biodiverse gardens are abundant with all sorts of wildlife including insects, birds and more. With this variety of different species all working together, you’re encouraging a healthy interdependence between plants and wildlife, creating a resilient growing area.
- You can easily manage pests and diseases by varying your planting. A variety of veggies, fruits and flowers helps to prevent the build-up of soil diseases.
- It also creates a variety of different food sources and shelter for birds and insects, so you get natural pest control such as birds and insects eating aphids, while frogs and ground beetles eat slugs.
- You can also support soil life by adding well-rotted natural materials like homemade compost. It feeds soil microbes and other life forms such as worms, who help to create better soil structure and add nutrients to the soil.
- Flowers bring something hugely important to your garden - pollen. Pollen and nectar bring bees, butterflies and other insects that perform the important job of fertilising.
- Choose plants that provide pollen and nectar for as long a season as possible, ideally from spring right through to winter.
- The wider variety of plant species you have, the greater variety of wildlife species you attract. Fragrant flowers can be particularly effective as pollinators love the aromas they give off.
- Grow a range of trees, shrubs and climbers, or a mixed hedge to provide food and shelter.
- Larger plants are able to support more wildlife - trees in particular - not only by providing food in the form of flowers, fruits and seeds but by also providing cover and nesting sites.
- A pond of any size is ideal but even a container of water is enough to add more wildlife to your outdoor areas.
- Hold back on introducing fish to your pond as they will eat anything that moves.
- Include at least one sloping side to allow creatures easy access in and out of the water.
- Allow water plants to colonise naturally.
- Make sure to provide food and water for birds year-round, as supplementary food during the winter can be the thing that keeps them alive.
- Offer a mixture of different foods including peanuts, seed mixtures, fat balls and even kitchen scraps.
- They also need a supply of clean, unfrozen water as well. A bird bath can be particularly useful for them.
- Don’t be too tidy - piles of leaves and debris are both food and habitat for loads of different species. If you don’t want your garden to look messy, try tucking it away in a corner, at the back of borders or even behind the shed.
- An old rotting log pile can become the ideal home for all sorts of insects and fungi, just make sure it’s away from sunlight so that it doesn’t dry out.
- Rock piles make a good habitat for things like reptiles and amphibians.