Garden & Outdoor

How To Create a Wildlife Friendly Garden

butterfly on top of a wild flower in a garden

Learning how to create a wildlife friendly garden is a great way to change up your garden space and at the same time, design an area that provides food and shelter for lots of different creatures. There is no right or wrong way to make a wildlife friendly garden. No matter the size, every garden can offer a range of different habitats for different types of wildlife. This how‐to guide will take you through some of the simple things you can do to create a wildlife friendly garden.

Let’s start with what you’ll need to create a wildlife garden.

This is a great, fun and easy project  – one that  the whole family can get involved in, though adult supervision is advised at all times. If you do find yourself using any power tools or new pieces of equipment, always read the instruction manuals attached.

If you are unsure about anything, please reach out to a certified expert.


Embrace the wild side

One of the easiest ways you can encourage wildlife into your garden is by letting your grass grow.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to leave the whole garden to turn into an overgrown jungle. Just keep some areas of un-cut, longer grass to make a great habitat for all types of insects and minibeasts. This in turn creates the perfect feeding area for hungry birds.

You can encourage your grass to grow faster and thicker by using grass feed and watering it well.

Top tip: Mowing your lawn once every four weeks will give short-grass plants (like daisies) a chance to flower.

Provide some shelter

Think about creating areas for your wildlife to nest and take shelter.

Trees, bushes and hedges are all safe nesting sites for birds and squirrels – so hold back from trimming those back.

Birds are an important part of your garden’s ecosystem. Put out some bird feeders, fill them with food and watch them thrive.

Check out our How to Make a Bird Feeder guide to see how you can make your own.

Top tip: If you have cats, place your bird boxes high up and near a dense bush to help provide cover.

Think about your plant choices

Having a variety of plants in your garden that bloom throughout the year is a simple way to ensure that your wildlife visitors have something to feed on.

Fruit trees are a great source of seasonal food, and ivy will supply autumn nectar for insects, as well as late winter fruit for birds.

Bedding plants and shrubs will also provide nectar-rich food to insects such as butterflies and bees.

Top tip: Different shapes and types of flowers will attract different insects. Plant lots of different varieties to encourage various types of wildlife. 


Make the most of organic materials

Making a compost heap and adding in your food waste is an easy and effective way to reduce what goes into landfill, while also creating a minibeast haven.

Worms are great wildlife to attract creatures into your garden, as they will help to create compost out of leaves and other organic material. They also help to improve soil drainage and transfer key nutrients to the surface.

Your compost heap can also become a hot spot for attracting hedgehogs to hibernate in – so don’t be tempted to move your compost, especially during the winter months.

If you want to go the extra mile, you could create your own bug hotel. Check out our How to Build a Bug Hotel blog for a step-by-step guide.

Top tip: Creating a home for minibeasts also means you’re making a great feeding ground for insect-eating birds and hungry chicks.


A source of clean and safe water is equally as important as food for your wildlife.

Creating a pond is a great way to boost wildlife. It doesn’t need to be huge – but they are perfect for attracting lots of different types of creatures, including dragonflies in the summer.

If you don’t have the space for this, you could simply add a bird bath or water feature to your garden instead.

Top tip: Add stones or branches around your pond to help the wildlife get in and out. 

Don’t forget to upload an image of your new wildlife friendly garden to social media and tag us @Homebase_uk 



Writer and expert