One of the best ways to make your garden more wildlife friendly is to create a shelter or box for certain types of animals.
The most common sort of box for animals is the bird box, but there are plenty of other creatures that will benefit from the installation of a shelter in your garden. A shelter for the hedgehogs is one of the most popular creations and this can easily be created just by putting some old leaves in a pile, with a sheet of plywood over the top.
Insects are also very easy to please, and leaving a pile of logs or stones in your garden can be enough for them to find a home. It is important that you do not disturb these shelters, or the animals will most probably leave.
If you are wanting to attract birds to your garden, there are many bird boxes that are commercially produced and can be bought at almost any garden centre. Before you purchase one of these boxes, you should realise that there are different types for different birds, so find out what sort of birds are most common in your garden and buy a bird box to match their needs.
Creating a log pile is one of the easiest types of shelter to make, and it doesn’t just encouraging insects to your garden. The fact that there are more insects means that predators will be more attracted as well, most notably birds and hedgehogs. A log pile can also be a popular location for other types of animals, such as newts and toads to come and live.
If you are considering creating a log pile in your garden then the best time to do this is in the autumn. It is around October that animals start looking for a place to hibernate, so creating a log pile at this time is perfect for their hibernation schedules.
You can create a log pile with all sorts of wood, but the most effective type is hardwood. This will support a larger number of insects than other types of wood. When creating your woodpile it is important to bury the logs into the ground a little bit, the best depth is around 10 centimetres. The depth means that the wood will decay faster and be more damp, which are ideal conditions for many types of beetle. The stag beetle will be particularly attracted to these conditions, as this is where it chooses to lay its eggs.
You should also not create your log pile too high, as the top of the pile will be dry and this is not a welcome habitat for most animals. Instead of creating one large pile, create several small piles. Once you have established this habitat, do not disturb it, this will undo all of the work you have done to attract more animals to your garden.
A log pile can remain in place for several years and it will provide a welcome home for animals for many seasons. Eventually it will rot away and at this time you can create a new log pile. Wherever you live in the UK, you are sure to attract a wide variety of animals to your garden if you create a log pile for them.