You can substantially increase the suitability of your own garden for many species. Food sources are always a good draw, especially during the spring and winter periods. Fruit trees/shrubs, nectar and pollen intense plants, soft foliage, mown grass areas, uncut grass areas, accessible compost heaps and rotting logs are all good food sources. Supplementary feeding using seeds, grains, nuts, fallen fruit and fats help support birds and other species. (Note: bacon rind and meat fat must be diced very, very small. Never use fat pieces during the breeding season as they will choke fledglings.)
Another way to attract some species is to provide a ‘home’. This is most commonly seen in the form of bird boxes. Gardeners will also welcome bug and lacewing boxes that help the predators of aphids. A more robust friend of the gardener is a hedgehog who removes slugs more efficiently than human fingers can. A well located, fully or partially buried box will attract hedgehogs.
(Please note that hedgehogs forage over a large area. It is essential that they can access neighbours gardens and local open spaces. Holes 12.5cm x 12.5cm minimum size must be created in boundary structures for their ‘highways’.)
You can make your own box using the downloadable instruction sheets listed below. A valuable learning experience for young children and teenagers.
Occasionally the Friends are able to supply pre-made boxes. We occasionally have prepared pre-cut boxes for children to assemble at our environmental events.
For the more adventurous, construction details are available for a version of a French balcony style tawny owl box. This is aimed at reducing predation of chicks. A landing platform can also be added.
Lacewing Boxes – LacewingBox
Box for Small Birds – open front– Bird Box assembly open
Bat Box – BatBox
Pre-made box availability-
A small number of assembled bat boxes are presently available.