Wildlife Friendly Plants

An increasing amount of garden space is being lost to hard surfacing, and some of the wildlife that typically visits is struggling to sustain its numbers. Whether you have a small balcony or a large garden, you can help the local wildlife by planting wildlife-friendly plants.

Not only do these wildlife-friendly plants make stunning additions to your outside space, but they also allow you to enjoy the company of birds, butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects which will come and visit; all of which do their bit to ward off the garden pests.

However, we know that it’s hard to know which plants attract the wildlife you want in your garden. That’s why we have put together this guide to wildlife-friendly plants to help you create a wildlife-friendly garden that even Sir David Attenborough would be proud of!

Best plants for bees and butterflies

Planting a variety of plant species that flower at different stages of the year will maximise the chances of butterflies and bees visiting your garden. However, we recommend that you find out what butterfly and moth species are active in your area, so you can plant what their caterpillar’s food plants are to maximise your chances of attracting them.

Another fact to keep in mind when purchasing wildlife-friendly plants is that different shapes of flowers attract different wildlife to your garden. Long, thin species of flowers are particularly popular with butterflies, whilst flat flowers, such as daisies and wild carrots, attract a number of bees and butterflies to its nectar.

Here are some of our favourite plants for bees and butterflies:

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Plants for birds

Many bird species are declining in Britain because they are losing their natural habitat. However, there are plenty of plants that can help attract and sustain Britain’s birds through plants and the insects that they bring.

Here are some of our favourite plants for birds:

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Other ways to make your garden wildlife friendly

There are many other things you can do to make your garden wildlife friendly, including:

  • Leaving water in a small dish offers both fresh drinking water and a bath for birds
  • Reduce or remove artificial lighting in the garden to allow bats, hedgehogs and other nighttime visitors to feast in peace
  • Create a woodpile. Some animals, such as butterflies and wasps, use woodpiles as a place to hibernate throughout the autumn and winter. You might even find a number of minibeasts homing between the logs.
  • Composting creates a home and food source for many wildlife, including millipedes, woodlice and spiders. What’s more, it deters them from your other plants

Once you have created a garden filled with wildlife-friendly plants, don’t forget to record the animals you see. This data is invaluable to those working to protect the futures of wildlife. Plus, it’s the perfect pastime for young children!

Check out the National Biodiversity Network website for more details.