Two yellow dandelions and one dandelion with white fluffy seeds growing out of green undergrowth and grass

Making space for nature at home

11 May 2022
Emma Kersley, Assistant Biodiversity Officer (Grasslands)

You might look at your garden and think it is small, but to an insect, it is enormous! No matter the size of your garden, it plays a huge role in helping our wildlife. The UK’s State of Nature Report 2019 showed that residential gardens make up 24-36% of each city – if you imagine a bird’s eye view of this, you will  see that they are the stepping-stones of habitat in a fragmented world.

How can you make space for nature?

Close up of a homemade square bug hotel placed on a wooden top outdoors

Society has taught us that a tidy garden is a “perfect” garden, from being overly manicured to using artificial grass, but gardens are nature's stepping stones and we need to understand how essential they are as habitats. 

1. No Mow May

Join Plantlife UK's campaign to let the flowers in your garden bloom throughout May, providing an essential source of food and nectar for our pollinators.

2. Make a “mess”

Create a pile using sticks,fallen leaves, logs and vegetation. This creates an insect sanctuary, and helps hedgehogs and amphibians as a hibernation haven.

3. Plant a tree

Native fruit trees such as cherry, rowan, apple and pear can be great food sources for a variety of birds, invertebrates  and more. In the Forest, we plant a variety of fruit bearing trees to benefit our wildlife. View our tree guide here

4. Bug hotels and bird boxes

Build your own bee hotel or construct a bird box, or you can simply buy them.

5. Provide a source of water

Create a pond or provide a shallow bowl of water on the ground for our non-flying friends - add some stones so insects can perch safely to quench their thirst.

No garden? You can still make a difference!

Brightly coloured flowers in window boxes with the reflection of a chimney and trees in the window panes

1. Window bird feeders

During winter, imple feeders are extremely important, especially when food sources are scarce.

2. Community engagement

Have a look online at what is going on in your local area. The campaign “Pimp Your Pavement” could provide inspiration to plant life in your street.

3. Enhance your workplace

Provide more wildlife friendly areas where you work using the ideas in this article.

4. Encourage others

The power of word of mouth should never be underestimated, you could help someone change the way they view their garden!