There are many ways you can make small changes to your garden to attract wildlife.
Water is an essential part of the existence of wildlife just as much as it is to humans. Providing water for them can be as simple as a bird bath or small garden pond lined with a pond liner.
The water in a bird bath should not be deeper than 8cm’s and enhanced with some sort of structure upon which birds can perch. Bird baths need to be placed at least 2 meters from vegetation as a precaution against cats preying on birds.
Creating a pond or water feature will greatly increase the diversity of wild life to your garden encouraging amphibians, invertebrates, insect eating birds and even dragonflies. When you plan your pond, ensure the edges slope to allow animals to crawl out, or provide an escape ramp.
Steps to creating a pond:
- Decide on the location
- Dig out the hole for your pond – provide varying depths from a few inches to half a meter. This will increase your chances of different wildlife using your pond
- Line hole with a protective underlay and a rubber pond liner
- Lay sand over the installed pond liner for planting in aquatic plants or, you can plant into baskets and submerge in the water if you prefer not to add a layer of sand
- Add an edging to protect the liner from weather damage and from the claws of visiting wildlife
- Plant so that about 30 – 40% of the pond surface area is covered by aquatic plants
- Plant some reeds, bulrushes, water lilies and various other marsh plants around the edges, this provides cover and a breeding ground for many species.
- Place logs and stones around the area for frogs, toads and newts to live when out of water and for hibernation in the colder months.
A pond need not be big, so even if you have a small garden there is still an opportunity to provide water and food to encouraging wildlife.