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Wildlife gardening ideas

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Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 17:27 UK time, Monday, 30 May 2011

This series we'll be looking at easy ways you to attract wildlife to your garden. So please have a look at the sneak previews of the films on the links below and let us know if you've got any other great ideas to share.

Helping bees: If you provide bees with resting places and food, they'll pollinate your flowers and help your garden to burst with colour in the summer.

Food for the birds: With just a few minutes in the kitchen you can cook up a feast for your garden birds. A very simple recipe

Attracting pond life: Having a pond will attract a multitude of flora and fauna from damselflies to frogs and newts. You don't need to have a large garden to have a pond. You can make one out of a range of different containers that don't require any digging at all!

We've also got loads of advice right here on this website about how to attract wildlife to your garden. And if you don't have a lot of outside space there's still things you can do to help wildlife without a garden.


  • Comment number 1.

    These links don't work!

  • Comment number 2.

    They are working now, thanks. What an institution Springwatch/Autumnwatch has become - long may it continue!

  • Comment number 3.

    These links are down again.

  • Comment number 4.

    I just love your programme. but could you tell me how i can encourage more birds to our garden, we have had blue tit, sparrows, starlings. We have put two nest boxes up, but they have not been touched, could you tell us how we can encourage them to use it. Its a robin and ordinary nest We do also have a bird table up as well and love it when the birds use it.

  • Comment number 5.

    I have just discovered leafcutter bees busy making their nest in a very small planter on my balcony, cutting pieces of leaf from a little witchhazel growing in a pot nearby! Could send you a pic, but not sure how to. Brillliant programme! Es

  • Comment number 6.

    This year we have had robins nesting in an old tea pot! I placed it in a pyrocantha bush a few years ago with the spout pointing down. Its been ignored each year until this year.

    We have also had blackbirds nesting in the honeysuckle and house sparrows living up to their name in a hole in our house wall.

  • Comment number 7.

    for a few years now ive had a pair of goldfinch visiting my garden havent seen them this year i wonder why

  • Comment number 8.

    If you hang bird feeders from the eaves of your house, it keeps the birds more safe as they are out of the reach of cats. Plus it keeps the bird feeder more clean, as it is tucked out of the rain. Mine is outside my bedroom window, easy to top up the feeder and I can lay in bed and watch the birds first thing in the morning. Great to wake up to nature. My bird feeder is made from half a coconut shell, 4 small holes drilled around the top with picture wire threaded through and 3 drainholes drilled in the bottom (to drain the dust). I fill mine with black sunflower seeds, greenfinch, bull finch, blue tits and robins visit it daily, all year round. Cheap, replacable and the coconut is good to eat too.

  • Comment number 9.

    We have worked hard to make our small garden wildlife friendly. We have lots of bird feeders and have a cat scarer water jet to protect the birds from the neighbourhood cats. We have done such a good job of keeping cats away, that every mouse for miles around has moved into the garden too. My dad is worried they will soon move into the house. other than use live capture traps and move the mice out to the local park, is there anything we can do to make sure they don't make too many babies and take over our house. Thank you Tilly

  • Comment number 10.

    I really love the bee hotel animation - well done! Also, can I just say what a joy it is watching the team present Springwatch. They have really good chemistry and really know their stuff and love what they are doing. Much more relaxed than when Bill Oddie was around!!

  • Comment number 11.

    I find you need shubs and hegdes with food for birds and blooms for bee and the rest. I send £30 a week on bird food and get a lot birds and their young just out side my window. there is all the cover they need food and live food from the plants. a list of birds I get
    blackbird and young starling and young jackdaw magpie long-tailed tit pied wagtail great spoted woodpecker jay song thrush wren hedge sparrow with young house sparrow with young wood-pigeon great with youngtit blue tit with young goldfinch chaffinch robin nuthatch kestrel sparrow hawk collared dove. we also get hedgehogs under the shubs

  • Comment number 12.

    BEES...I have a Spruce tree just outside the rear of my house and it is absoutely loaded with bees. I do'nt keep bees nor do I know of any bees being kept locally but they are on this tree from spring onwards. I am now wondering if there is a hive in the tree but I'm not so brave as to go poking my head in there. The thought of Honey is tempting tho.... What do you think ?...I should probably leave well alone !

  • Comment number 13.

    I plant sweet peas & runner beans together to attract BEES. Does a great job.

  • Comment number 14.

    The links aren't working!! Have a newly installed pond and want to attract wild life - no help here at the moment!! Will keep trying.

  • Comment number 15.

    i have noticed over the yrs,the first few warm days of spring,that the dwarf conifer abertina conica is always covered in lady birds,it makes an ideal winter roost for them.the bigger the plant the more lady birds must be inside,at times i have seen so many it almost covers the leaves,thought i pass this on to garden ideas!

  • Comment number 16.

    Got any good information on attracting butterflies and moths into a small gardens?

  • Comment number 17.

    this may seem silly but how do i ask the hosts questions i can't find anywhere to put one on???

  • Comment number 18.

    my garden is full of wildlife i have an ivy hedge with lots of nests in and a bush thats very overgrown housing a large number of sparrows,iv also let an area get covered in brambles and the bees are all over the flowers on them,im not really a fan of gardening and my 3 dogs love digging everything so its good im not but iv found that because i let my garden go a bit wild iv attracted stacks of wildlife my neighbours who have immaculate gardens put up bird feeders but the birds seem to prefer my jungle as do the foxs and hedghogs, bees.,butterflys,bats and insects

  • Comment number 19.

    I just saw at least 2 blackbird fledglings in my garden :). They were so cute, I just have to watch that our cat doesn't see them!

  • Comment number 20.

    It began by just being too idle to mow the lawn, but i have unwittingly managed to create a beautiful clover filled garden with creeping buttercup and even the dreaded Ground Elder around the edges in flower too. It actually looks lovely and the clover particularly is buzzing with bees and other insects. Delaying the mowing by just a few weeks has proved hugely beneficial to the wildlife here - and with quite literally no effort involved at all!
    ( The children love playing in it too and enjoy watching the busy bees moving from one flower to the next)

  • Comment number 21.

    I'd be grateful if someone could let me know which butterfly, or moth, was responsible for this voracious "beast" - probably very common to most of you and your plentiful plants, but an unusually large surprise on our tiny central London balcony this month (and certainly extremely hungry ..!!). Sadly, although we left it to do its worst/best, we weren't lucky enough to see any chrysalis or "hatching" ... maybe our blackbird or numerous other avian visitors spotted "him" in his hiding place!? We would love to know what this caterpillar might have become so hope that someone can indulge us. Thanks v much, TB/EB.

    PS - I'm attempting to attach some pics, including some of the plant damage to show the eating pattern in case help is needed with i/d ... "He" was living and feasting on our Californian poppies but was more than happy to also reach for the sweet rocket plant! (both still proving very popular with bees, hoverflies et al - as well as, clearly, with caterpillars ... today the poppy plant is covered with extremely tiny, but still green, caterpillars, so these plants are clearly also attractive to those moths/butterflies which produce young from the opposite end of the size spectrum! (unless, of course, all that dedicated eating allows these tiny creatures to grow into the size of the big fellow!!)) Thanks again, TB/EB.

  • Comment number 22.

  • Comment number 23.

    we have had a hedgehog in are garden last night and we saw it go into are hedge and it lives in there we think and the hole it went into the bush had a path going into it. So we are going to put food out in are garden now like ham and water !

  • Comment number 24.

    This might be because:
    You have typed the web address incorrectly, or
    the page you were looking for may have been moved, updated or deleted.
    Please try the following options instead:
    Use BBC search above to see if it's available elsewhere
    Use our site index
    Or return to the page you came from. on the How to attract wildlife link

  • Comment number 25.

    I have not seen hardly any birds for months now in my garden. I get Starlings sometimes. I don't know why they are not coming. I got loads of different birds last year.
    All my feeders are full and ready to be eaten but nothing comes.
    I have tried to make my garden into a wildlife haven, although I only have a small garden.
    I have a Bug Hotel and a small Bug House hanging on the fence ,that has four insects in it. I have a Log Pile and numerous hidey holes. I have three Bird Houses one in my Ivy one on my Silver Birch and one in my Dogrossa. I have a Pond, and I am growing a native mixed hedge. I have Privet, Hazel,Dog rossa,Hawthorn,Bird Cherry, Prycanthia and Black Currant. I also have two Crab Apple Trees and a Flowering Currant, also Ivy, Honey Suckle, Clematis and Passion flower. Every plant I have bought has has wildlife in mind. I have two Budliea and many other plants. I even have an area of long grass and a Wild flower Meadow.
    I have also made a Hibernaculum for frogs and followed advice from you hedgehog article and made a feeding station with bricks and a paving stone and ingredients in a bowl. Which i thoroughly enjoyed.
    Well maybe they are on their way.


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