Gardening for Wildlife
Top tips from Kent Wildlife Trust
Advice provided by the KWT consultant who came to do a wildlife check in the Marsh Green Church grounds (for more information see the KWT website below)
Click here to download the 'Steps to Sustainability' pdf document.
• Grow nectar-rich flowers (native and non-native) for butterflies, moths, bees and other insects to drink from in the summer.
• Ponds attract frogs, newts and a host of fascinating insects to breed, birds to bathe, mammals to drink and grass snakes to swim!
• A wildflower area is beautiful to look at and excellent for birds, butterflies, grasshoppers and other invertebrates.
• Hedges link other habitats together, provide shelter from the wind and sun, and food and nest sites for birds and mammals.
• Collect garden and kitchen waste in a compost bin to improve your soil, feed the thrushes and even attract a slow-worm.
• Many insecticides kill all insects, including bees and butterflies. Be patient and wait for nature to solve the ‘problem’!
• Don’t buy limestone for rockeries; natural limestone ‘pavements’ are wonderful for wildlife and becoming increasingly rare.
• Make a hedgehog hibernation box, or pile up logs, twigs and leaves to help these slug-eating mammals survive till spring.
• Well designed and located nest boxes are used by tits, robins, sparrows, flycatchers, house martins and other birds.
• Even a window box will attract butterflies if pollen and nectar-rich flowers are planted. And they will be close enough to see from inside!
• A wild corner with long grass, nettles and brambles will provide a feeding and over-wintering site for a variety of wildlife.
• Climbing plants such as honeysuckle, ivy and clematis provide hiding places for moths and butterflies as well as nest sites for birds.
• Feed birds in winter to help them survive natural food shortages and hard weather. Try kitchen scraps, seeds, fruit and nuts. Remember to put some food out during the remainder of the year too.
• Allow berries and seeds to develop on your shrubs and plants. These will provide food for birds through the autumn and winter.
Kent Wildlife Trust,
Tyland Barn, Sandling, Maidstone, Kent. ME14 3BD
Tel: 01622 662012
Kent Wildlife Trust’s Gardening
Wildlife Awards Scheme
This is a successful and growing scheme to encourage the people of Kent to garden in ways that encourage wildlife. Free information packs are distributed by local authorities as the scheme is launched each spring. Individuals,schools and other community groups can enter and gain a bronze, silver or gold award. Check out the Trust’s website www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk for up-to-date information
• A sheet of corrugated iron will offer shelter to shrews, mice and voles, or you could set up a winter feeding station for them.
• Catch rain water in butts or the pond and, to reduce evaporation caused by the sun’s heat, water plants in the evening or at night.
• Use peat-free compost to reduce further damage to the World’s dwindling peat bogs. Ask your local garden centre to stock it.
• Fix a box designed for bats on a tree or the side of the house, though they may prefer to roost under loose tiles or in the loft.
• A pile of rocks and stones (or a dry stone wall)
provides lots of sheltered spaces for lizards and
• Birds need to bathe to keep their feathers in
good condition especially in winter! Provide a
bird bath and enjoy the sight.
Full range of wildlife gardening books
Tyland Barn Wildlife Centre Just off the A229
between Chatham & Maidstone Open: 7 days a
week throughout the year, weekdays 10am - 5pm,
weekends 11am - 4pm Special ordering service -
telephone orders welcome