Spring into the garden with 10 top seasonal tips to help wildlife

Providing food for birds before the breeding season is one way to help wildife in your garden this spring. (Picture: Peter vogel/Flickr.)
Providing food for birds before the breeding season is one way to help wildife in your garden this spring. (Picture: Peter vogel/Flickr.)

Now that spring has sprung and the weather is becoming more suitable for being outdoors, many people’s thoughts turn to their gardens.

But as well as providing outdoor spaces for us to enjoy, our gardens, with a bit of planning, can also be havens for wildlife.

Here are the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s top tips:

Don’t be too tidy - leaving a corner of your garden to grow wild will provide food and habitat for a whole range of insects.

Feed the birds - provide a good quality seed mix to help adult birds before the breeding season.

Leave some long grass – let the grass grow long in damp areas to provide a safe area for frogs, toads and newts.

Give hedgehogs a helping hand – providing food and water (never milk) for hedgehogs will help them to refuel after hibernating over winter.

Install a bird box – now is the best time to put bird boxes up in your garden, just find a north-facing surface protected from driving rain and wind.

Create an insect hotel – tie short lengths of bamboo canes together and string up to attract insects.

Make a pond – old sinks, washing up bowls or buckets sunk into the ground can provide a valuable habitat and source of water for many animals.

Plant wildflowers – wildflowers provide a fantastic source of nectar for pollinators such as bees, butterflies and moths.

Avoid using pesticides – a wildlife-friendly garden should be pesticide free!

Use peat-free compost – make sure that the compost you buy doesn’t include peat taken from our wildlife-rich peatlands.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust and People’s Postcode Lottery are celebrating the first day of spring on Sunday 20 March with a list of 10 top tips for your garden.

Every year the People’s Postcode Lottery supports a variety of activities on the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s network of 120 wildlife reserves.

From the urban wildlife garden of Johnston Terrace in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle to the remote wilderness of Ben Mor Coigach in Sutherland, Postcode Lottery players are helping to provide safe havens for wildlife across the country and inspiring people of all ages to connect with nature.

Jonny Hughes, chief executive of the Trust, said: “The Scottish Wildlife Trust has received a staggering £3.8 million from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery over the last eight years, helping to support a huge range of activities to safeguard Scotland’s wonderful and iconic wildlife.

“From inspiring thousands of children at our Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre to protecting peregrine falcons at the spectacular Falls of Clyde, the generosity of players of People’s Postcode Lottery is certainly something to celebrate this spring.”

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “The beginning of spring is always a time to look forward to.

“Whether it’s hearing birdsong or admiring springtime blossoms, we all love spotting the signs of spring in nature. That’s why we want to make it easy for people to do their bit to protect it. We’re very proud of what players have enabled the Scottish Wildlife Trust to do for Scotland’s wildlife - birds, butterflies, red squirrels and beautiful wildflowers are just a few examples of what players are helping to protect.”