Biodiversity is the relative measure of the number of different species of organism in a given space such as your garden. Biodiversity is generally falling at an alarming rate as animals and plant species become extinct.
You can help increase biodiversity by making sure there is enough food, water, shelter and breeding places for species in your garden. Surprisingly, studies carried out by the University of Sheffield show that the gardens showing the greatest biodiversity were not dependent on native species or garden size (as gardens interlock with each other), but those that had the greatest complexity in layers and vegetation structure, from trees to lawn.
We encourage log piles in an otherwise tidy garden as around 1000 British invertebrates, nesting birds, bats, frogs, toads and newts rely on these habitats- and they'll be your first line of defence against unwanted pests. Ideally you need a shady part of the garden that won't dry out too much, use a various types of wood to care for the various preferences and you'll soon have your own miniature nature reserve
The easiest way of guaranteeing wildlife in your garden is by having a permanent body of water, whether a glorious fountain or a tiny pond and this doesn't necessarily mean it has to be murky water. Shallow areas and deeper areas benefit different animals, gradual slopes make sure they can get out.
Birds are the most visible wild animal in our gardens. Evergreen shelter such as ivy, thorny hedges and bushes provide food, shelter, breeding and nesting sites. There are some beautiful bird boxes available in designs suitable for every garden. Birds should only be fed in winter. Tidy borders and cut shrubs later, in late winter or early spring to help retain seeds and fruit for birds throughout winter
Nectar and Pollination
Honey bee populations have suffered recently which is not only concerning for ecological reasons but they are also needed to pollinate our flowering plants. We can plant early and late flowering plants to provide nectar for insects at critical times - just after emergence or prior to hibernation.
Natural pest control:
Create a shelter for ladybirds and lacewing larvae them over the winter and you'll help establish your own population. These are the natural predators of Aphids (Greenfly).
Snails and Slugs
There is a massive industry around the gardener's favourite enemy, and none of them can provide guaranteed success. The most slug and snail free gardens are those that have their natural predators such as beetles, frogs, song thrushes, blackbirds and hedgehogs. Slug pellets, even many 'Wildlife friendly' ones harm these predator as the toxins build up inside them. Each garden will need a different approach that's appropriate to the soil, plants, wildlife and site of the garden. Organic gardeners might use a combination of Nematodes, copper tape and, most effectively, picking them up by hand at night and disposing of them.