Habitat Creation | Wildlife Gardening

Introduction
Garden Ecology
Birds
Mammals
Amphibians & Reptiles
Invertebrates
Attractions to Wildlife in a garden


Introduction

It is not just in protected areas such as National Nature Reserves where wildlife can be conserved. There are 16m gardens in the UK, 4,000 square miles of land. Making up a larger area than any reserve, therefore if these areas can be enhanced for wildlife the biodiversity will increase Nationally. Just think of the differences a bird feeder makes even if you have a concrete back garden. If everyone does their bit, we may be able to put a stop the overnight decline of our much loved wildlife heritage.

Garden Ecology

Gardens are unlike any single natural habitat, though they share features with most of them. The two key features of the average garden are its great diversity within a small space - no piece of countryside is as varied - and the amount of shelter, coupled often with additional food supplies over and above what is naturally available.

Structurally, gardens contain many elements, with trees, shrubs, open grassland (the lawn), bare soil, semi open flower beds, paved areas, compost heaps, wood piles, walls, and often open water in the form of a pond. There may be a large diversity of plants; there are those occurris that whatever species you may have or want to visit your garden,

ng naturally, often described as weeds, together with all the herbaceous plants, vegetables, fruit bushes, annuals, window box plants, shrubs and specimen trees. Gardens are also more intensively managed than most areas of countryside, which can have beneficial side-effects such as a constant supply of new foliage from shrubs after pruning or cutting.

Despite these differences from the more natural countryside, the garden still operates to some extent as an ecosystem, with species all interacting together, though of course any one garden also interacts closely with the gardens or other areas that surround it.

Gardens have always been shown on TV as ornamental, pristine areas, with wildlife in mind you can still do this, but don't be so precise, leave some uncut areas, borders and let vegetation die back naturally without removing it, the less manicured the better. Have you ever seen people sweeping leaves out of woodlands!

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