Provide a home

They say there’s no place like home and our wildlife needs shelter now more than ever.

If you want to provide a home for nature, the easiest thing is to buy a bird box from your local DIY shop. But if you have the time and you’re feeling creative, why not make your own? Building a bird or bat box is straightforward and no special carpentry skills are needed.

Bird and bat boxes simply imitate the natural hollows in older trees that are cleared away from our landscape. Specially constructed nest boxes imitate the holes and cavities in dead standing wood that are usually cleared away. An estimated two million fledglings are reared in nest boxes each year. And it’s a wonderful feeling to see a blue tit or robin investigating a nest box that you made and put up yourself.

Putting up bat boxes in your garden can provide much needed summer homes for bats which have very particular lodging habitats and will relocate to different roosting sites throughout the year.

Bats generally use bat boxes only for summer and autumn roosting. In winter they move to better insulated tree holes and building cavities, where they can hibernate safely. Bat boxes are as easy to build a bird boxes.

Bug or wildlife hotels are even simpler to build and easily attract insects that are both food for other forms of wildlife and vitally important pollinators. These hotels are a good way of creating habitats in small garden. This high rise hotel creates a home for insects, reptiles and mammals; it also reuses items that may have gone to landfill such as pallets, off cuts of pipe and bits of wood. This sort of shelter is easy and quick to create.












Take a look at our simple guides below and you can make a home in no time at all.

There are also lots of ways that you can protect the wildlife in your garden with minimum effort.

• Create hibernating spots for hedgehogs by leaning a sheet of plywood against a fence, wall or hedge in a quiet spot and covering it with leaves and branches: the space underneath the board can become a snug spot.

• Pile up fallen leaves in corners to give animals and birds somewhere to forage and nest.

• Rotting wood is a really valuable habitat for wildlife in our gardens. Dead and decaying wood could become home to beetles, fungi, centipedes and more. A wide range of beetles and flies will feed on decaying wood and the fungi which lives on it, and some solitary bees and wasps re-use beetle tunnels as nest sites.

• Piles of slabs or rockery stones will act as a suitable wildlife habitat. Corrugated iron or plastic laid on the soil can provide ‘tunnel’ hiding places for small reptiles and mammals looking for shelter and warmth.

• Longer grass provides shelter for insects, small mammals and amphibians too. If you don’t want to leave the entire lawn, adjust your mower to cut the grass to at least 3.5–5cm and consider leaving a patch to grow. This can provide a corridor for creatures like frogs and mice. Don’t mow grass when it’s wet or frosty or when there’s a cold drying wind to protect the wildlife living in it.

Have you pledged to provide a home yet?

Download our 'how to' guide below.


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