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Wildlife in your home - Gardens and Landscaping

Garden PondGardens are becoming increasingly important as havens for wildlife. Foxes, bats, hedgehogs, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees and many other creatures can be seen and enjoyed.

Trees and tall bushy hedges next to bat roosts are important, because they enable the bats to emerge under their protective canopy earlier and benefit from the abundance of midges and other insects most active at dusk.

HaymeadowChoosing plants that are native to Britain benefits all sorts of insects, including bumblebees and butterflies. Flower-rich, lightly mown meadows are much more insect friendly than tightly mown lawns. If you would like to create your own Dartmoor haymeadow, you can have a look at our guide ‘How to Create Your Own Dartmoor Haymeadow’ (pdf).

Plants without double flowers are better for bees that need pollen to feed to their larvae. This is because in plants with double flowers, pollen bearing anthers have been replaced by extra petals. Remember that bees will pollinate your crops, while wasps will feed on many unwelcome caterpillars!

The trimming of bushes and hedges can be left until winter, after flowers and fruit have been used by insects, birds and small animals.Garden ponds can provide a home or a drinking source for insects, frogs, newts, bird and mammals. And finally, the fewer pesticides and herbicides are used the better for wildlife!

You can obtain more information on wildlife friendly gardening from the following links:

Natural England’s advice pages on Wildlife Gardening (external site, opens new window)

Million Pond Project: (external site, opens new window)

Devon Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Gardening Webpages (external site, opens new window)

Have you thought about having a green roof? There are many different types of green roof you could install, depending on where you live, the type of your roof, and what you want it to look like. For more information, visit the Natural England living roofs publication (external site, opens new window)

Page last updated: 16 Feb 2010