15 Top Tips for Encouraging Wildlife

  1. Grow a pollinator border with key insect forage plants such as comfrey, raspberry, clovers and other wild flowers to provide nectar.
  2. Increase the amount of nectar available by planting individual blossoming fruit trees or a community orchard.
  3. Encourage friendly insects with bumblebee and ladybird ‘hotels’ and bare soil ‘scrapes’ for other insects.
  4. Having a separate wildlife area as a mini- nature reserve where wildflowers can grow if this is not allowed within allotments.
  5. Encouraging sustainable ‘pest’ control with bird and bat homes, wood piles for hedgehogs and damp places for amphibians – they will all eat unwanted animals.
  6. Deterring ‘pests’ in a friendly way by using safe and effective bird deterrents, beer traps for slugs or new organic slug pellets, spraying aphids with very dilute washing-up liquid (half a teaspoon per litre).
  7. Making a pond with several depths, and a few rocks or slabs at the edge for amphibian access and a ramp for hedgehogs. If a pond is not possible, an old sink filled with water can teem with wildlife too.
  8. Using companion planting for pest control / encouraging useful insects.
  9. Planting old native species and varieties, including traditional vegetables.
  10. Growing some plants to give winter food for birds e.g. kale, seedheads,hips and haws in hedges.
  11. Avoiding the use of peat by using sustainable substitutes.
  12. Building up soil biodiversity by sheet mulching and incorporating organic material.
  13. Composting waste material, perhaps on a communal basis.
  14. Improving the water management by the design of site, mulching, and collecting rainwater.
  15. Hedgerow management and / or restoration, including the planting of native species such as buckthorn, alder buckthorn and Midland thorn around allotments, ensuring a 3-5 year programme of hedgerow cutting to give a range of heights, fruiting, etc.

Don’t forget to keep a wildlife diary, fill in the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust biodiversity survey form and send your records to the Warwickshire Biological Records Centre.

Source: Warwickshire Wildlife Trust www.warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.uk

See our month-by-month Encouraging Wildlife Guide and Wildlife Watch pages for more ideas on increasing wildlife.