If you’re fortunate enough to own a garden in London, lucky you! With real estate in short supply and costing roughly £25,000 per square metre, it’s little wonder green space is limited. However, its scarcity means it’s even more important to the capital’s wildlife.
According to the London Wildlife Trust, our gardens act as important habitats for lots of creatures, both furred and feathered. The problem is they’re turning from green to grey at an alarming rate – and most of us are unaware of the danger this poses.
With over three million gardens in Greater London alone, we can begin by transforming these into a network of nature reserves. Here’s what you can do to help.
Choose drought-resistant plants
Although it might seem like London is deluged by unending rain, our summers are becoming drier due to climate change. This is dangerous for plants, which are prone to drying out and dying. This has a knock-on effect on the city’s wildlife, who are often reliant on these for food and shelter.
The solution? To choose drought-resistant species that can continue to support our native birds and insects. Especially good options include butterfly bushes, ice plants, tulips, sea holly, and rosemary, all of which can be easily sourced from your local garden centre.
Create a pond
Even if you’re short on space, you’d be surprised by how simple it is to incorporate a small pond into your outdoor area. Not only do these look pretty, but they can make your garden appealing to a wider variety of wildlife. Even the tiniest can support lots of different and fascinating species, providing places for them to bathe, drink, and mate.
If you want to make a difference, why not spread the message to your neighbours too? By creating several ponds in close proximity, you develop a vital corridor for visiting wildlife to move through. This will help them to navigate the city safely and thrive in your local area.
Feed our feathered friends
One type of animal that often struggles in winter, especially as landscapes become more urban, are our feathered friends. These can have a hard time foraging for suitable food sources, especially as insect numbers decline. To support them, why not install a bird feeder in your garden? It doesn’t cost much to keep this well-stocked, and you’ll have the pleasure of seeing avian visitors at all times of the year.
Create a space you love
While this doesn’t help wildlife directly, we’re more likely to look after spaces we enjoy. For this reason, don’t forget to cater to human inhabitants in your home. There are lots of ways to do this, from adding some garden furniture to stringing solar lights along the tops of your walls and around your trees.
As well as adding outdoor chairs and tables to your space, another option that can encourage you to spend more time in your garden is a fire pit table. Warm and cosy, this allows you to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather. Available in different sizes and combinations, you can even purchase accessories that allow you to cook at the table. That means opportunities for al fresco dining all year round.
Source: Moda Furnishings
When it comes to taking care of London’s wildlife, the responsibility falls to all of us, and there are lots of ways we can help. With so many easy options for contributing, it seems criminal not to. Isn’t it time you made your garden a more hospitable place for all of its visitors — human and animal?