Gardening for wildlife

There are lots of good reasons to encourage wildlife into your garden:

  • Wildlife gardening brings an extra dimension of beauty to your space. With the sound of blackbirds and crickets, the flutter of a yellow butterfly and the gentle buzz of drowsy bumble bees, you will always have something to watch and listen to.
  • Wildlife gardening helps many once-common city animals that are now threatened. Adding your garden to a broader habitat for wildlife will help to sustain sparrows, song thrush, stag beetles, dragonflies, hedgehogs, lizards, and grasshoppers. Persuading your neighbours to join in too will add even more to this growing network.
  • Wildlife gardening helps you and your children to discover the fragile world of wildlife that surrounds us. The fascination of frogs returning to a wildlife pond year after year is a delight many city children miss out on. To say nothing of sharing the knowledge of a secret wren nest, turning a stone carefully to find centipedes and watching the blue tits to see if they really will open milk bottles. Learn and enjoy.

Animals need four things: food, water, shelter and places to breed. Follow the guides opposite to important features that you can create in your garden, on your balcony or up your walls that can provide valuable habitats. And make sure you also have a look at our page about gardening for bugs!

The London Wildlife Trust’s Garden for a Living London campaign includes lots of good advice for wildlife gardeners. You can find out how to:

Plant drought resistant plants
Plant a mixed hedgerow
Make a pond
Use mulch
Add a green roof to your shed
Wild up your decking

Or you can download the Wildlife Gardening Pack (PDF 3MB), produced by the Trust for Tower Hamlets Council, which contains even more good advice.