There are many good reasons to garden for wildlife. You will attract more birds, butterflies and other fascinating creatures, adding extra interest and pleasure to your surroundings.
The allotment gardens are a haven for many wild plants, insects, birds and animals which are generally beneficial and add considerably to the enjoyment and interest of allotment gardening. The hedgerows which surround plots are a source of both shelter and food. Some of the species that have been found on the allotments are quite rare or only found locally. Much of the wildlife on the allotments goes unnoticed although if you keep a look out you can see a wide variety of creatures.
Attracting beneficial wildlife
There are a number of things you can do to attract wildlife onto your plot. For example you can:
- Put up nesting boxes or bug hotels (local garden centres have a wide variety on offer or make one yourself). For example, blue tits eat caterpillars, bats catch flying insects and bees pollinate plants.
- Create a pond – They encourage frogs, toads and newts which eat slugs and snails, as well as providing water for other insects, birds and animals.
- Leave a pile of logs to rot or create a ‘beetle bank’. These make ideal homes for beneficial beetles and insects.
- Use organic pest control methods. This could include snail and slug traps or companion planting.
Natural England has produced a series of leaflets about gardening for wildlife including one called ‘Wildlife on allotments’.
The Wildlife Trusts also have some good advice on gardening for wildlife