Everyone wants to be able to watch the wildlife in their garden in the spring, whether it’s baby birds, hedgehogs or butterflies. However, if you want to enjoy the wildlife in the spring, it’s important to make sure that you get your garden prepared in advance over the winter.

One of the best ways to attract wildlife is with a pond, stream or water feature. Water is used by birds and mammals to drink from and bathe in, while also providing a habitat for frogs, newts and insects. Water features come in many shapes and sizes from natural wildlife ponds, to modern stainless steel containers or even a pack-horse bridge over a trickling streams. Other structural additions may be a deck or jetty over a large pond which create a special spot for you to observe the wildlife in your garden. Whatever structural changes you may wish to make to prepare your garden for spring wildlife, it is important that you do so before wildlife begins to visit so that you do not disturb any spring visitors and so that you have the perfect spot to watch them from!

Another crucial aspect for spring wildlife is planting. In order to maximise the number of garden visitors you get, you should plan your planting so that wildlife can benefit from it. A properly designed wildflower meadow can attract many birds and insects and be used as food and nesting materials. Equally a bog garden (perhaps combined with a pond) can provide a great habitat and be an excellent food source. Also, never underestimate the value of trees and larger shrubs which can provide vital protection from both predators and the elements as well as homes and nesting sites.

At this time of year our gardens can look a little unloved and messy, however; before you start attacking them with rakes and secateurs, consider the wildlife that may be living in it. Ensure that you are not cutting back your hedges during nesting seasons for birds (usually between March and August) as this will not only be very damaging to their young but is actually an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981! Restrain from clearing up piles of leaves, logs or compost as they may be home to hibernating animals such as hedgehogs or voles as well as small birds like wrens. And finally, don’t be tempted to cut off dead seed heads as they can be a valuable food source and nesting material for birds.

Now is the time to start preparing your garden for spring wildlife, whether you want to plant a wildlife garden or introduce a pond, call us on 01491 280447 or email info@greenart.co.uk.