pro landscaper magazine
pro landscaper magazine

How to create gardens for wildlife

by | 21 Mar 24 | From the Mag, Garden Design, Long Reads, Nature & Biodiversity

Studies show that the rate at which once-common British species of wildlife are facing extinction. Over a third (41%) of UK species have declined since 1970. The number of hedgehogs alone has fallen by a staggering 95% since 1950.

However, with 87% of households across the UK having some form of garden space, domestic garden design can play a part in restoring biodiversity.

© Kim Stoddart

Author of The Climate Change Garden, Kim Stoddart, believes that it’s not hard to draw in wildlife as there are lots of easy ways to do so.

Adding a biodiverse range of planting with natural hedging in place of fencing, or plants that flower over winter, and creating wilder areas as a feature are just some of the many ways to incorporate wildlife into garden design.

“From mini ponds to leaf mould piles or dedicated bug hotels, there are many beneficial wildlife that can be drawn in,” says Stoddart.

She also suggests that moving away from hardcore surfaces and into permeable features will help build resilience against flooding.

One of the challenges of the ever-changing climate is a greater risk of pest and disease, but Stoddart believes that an increase in biodiversity will act as a natural pest control.

“In an ‘eat and be eaten’ more balanced garden ecosystem it is much harder for one type of pest to proliferate,” says Stoddart.

© Kim Stoddart

From amphibians such as toads, frogs, and newts, to dragonflies, garden birds, and hedgehogs, not to mention the range of beneficial insects like ground beetles, ladybirds, and lacewings, all have a useful role to play and help keep pest numbers in check.

“Natural pest control, greater plant resilience and also the knowledge that you are doing your bit for the planet by helping to boost biodiversity in a positive action affords a wellbeing gain that’s hard to beat,” says Stoddart.

 

“Living through such challenging times, with a perfect storm of climate change, a cost of living crisis and many other stressful world events besides. Working with the natural world and giving it a place in landscape design is essential for the future for the sake of us all,” says Stoddart.

Garden designers Debbie Carroll, Kristina Clode, Louise Iredale and Jane Ashley share more tips for creating gardens with wildlife in mind in the March issue of Pro Landscaper magazine.

 

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