Gardening and wildlife go hand in hand. Do you do a little more to attract wildlife to your outside spaces? I discuss the results of our recent member survey.
Our outside spaces are a haven for a diverse range of creatures, from beneficial insects, such as butterflies, bees and hoverflies, to birds of prey and nocturnal mammals.
We wanted to find out which birds, animals and insects visit your gardens, which are the most common and what you do to encourage wildlife.
In February, we asked our members what wildlife they’d seen in their gardens in the past 12 months, and what they’d like to see but haven’t.
We asked about where they live (urban or rural areas), the size of their gardens, if there are any creatures they’d prefer didn’t visit their gardens, what they do to attract wildlife and which actions they think are most effective.
A wealth of wildlife
Of the 3,378 people who responded to our survey, six in 10 told us they were looking after a garden smaller than a quarter of a tennis court up to 200 sq m (about the size of a full tennis court).
Almost all of them (bar seven respondents) did something to encourage wildlife, from having bird baths and piles of logs to compost heaps and areas of unkempt grass.
The most popular wildlife aid was a bird table or feeder (just over three quarters of respondents have one).
It was also rated as the most effective way to get more wildlife into your garden – just over half of people involved gave it top spot.
Growing plants that produce berries, nuts or hips was also popular for helping wildlife, along with having native trees and hedges, nectar-rich plants for pollinators, leaving out food for animals, delaying cutting back perennials and putting up nest boxes.
This contribution to Which? Conversation first appeared in the May 2019 edition of Which? Gardening (page 24: ‘Garden Wildlife Survey’).
Do you try to attract birds and other wildlife to your garden? If so, do you have any tips to share about the best methods? On the other hand, would you rather wildlife stayed away? Let us know why.