Giving nature a home this autumn Part 4

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An essential need for all wildlife is to find a place where it is safe to have their young where there is plenty of food and shelter. A garden can give this in several ways to various things

A red-breasted European robin.
Planting climbers against walls and high fences can give high quality shelter, and a place for roosting and nesting sites.

Trees, hedges, shrubs and bushes can also be an excellent haven for the bird world, as well as small mammals like hedgehogs. As a place for cover from predators and where it will be safe to build a nest.

A country lane in Texas.
Providing bird nesting boxes, bat boxes and hedgehog habitats can be a wonderful method of establishing good artificial shelters into nature. Natural roosting and nesting sites can become very difficult for animals to find and our gardens can provide them a better and a safer place to have their young.

Butterflies and bees also need breeding sites too, and growing the right plants can give them a place to breed and lay their eggs. Growing plants that will be attractive to butterflies and bees will help too. You can also build or buy butterfly and bee habitats as well as a butterfly and bee nectar feeding station.

A lithop - a 'stone' blooming with flowers.
Dead wood, grass and plant trimmings and old foliage can be a beneficial shelter and secure place for cover for various types of beetles and other insects and small creatures, as well as fungi and moss.

Leaving areas of grass to become overgrown can give all varieties s of wildlife a place to hide and have their young. If you want tidy your garden by cutting back the overgrowth, lawn, shrubs and bushes; then the best time to do this will be in the late winter or in the early spring, to give any of the insects, beetles, birds and small mammals sheltering from the cold winter month the chance to leave and find another place to live.

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