From the team at BBC Wildlife Magazine

Your top tips: Wildlife gardening

12 BBC Wildlife readers share their best gardening advice. 

Published: July 29, 2014 at 7:54 am
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1 Plant buddleias, sedum, all blue flowering plants, nepeta, nasturtiums, calendulars, lupins and fritillaries to attract bees and butterflies. Aline Dobbie


2 Introduce wildflowers, a pond and log piles, and definitely don't keep it neat! Duncan Richardson

3 Do less, see more. It takes courage to leave the greenfly etc, but in time the natural predators spot the banquet and move in. ‪Provide food, shelter, water and a breeding place for what you want to attract and they will love you forever. ‪Amanda Barton‬‬‬

4 Ensure what you are planting are UK species to ensure they will be good for native insects. The RHS website has lots of information on plants that are good for bees and butterflies. ‪Rachel Evans‬‬‬ 

5 Get over being neat. Plant more herbs, and leave them to flower and seed. Be a bit messy, mix your plants around with each other. Introduce as much variety as your local climate will allow. ‪Leonie Maia‬‬‬

6 Cover any bare earth with wildflower seeds now to attract bees and butterflies all summer. ‪Jennifer Hunt‬‬‬

7 Stop using chemicals - I tell people I'm having an ‘ecology year’. ‪Jan Baxter 

8 Leave a patch to grow wild. Even the plants often referred to as weeds, such as nettles, provide great egg-laying plants for moths and butterflies. Include some native wildflowers, and watch it flourish. Tom Young

9 Make a small gap in your fence or gate and try to persuade your neighbours to do the same. This creates a network of wildlife corridors that will allow amphibians, hedgehogs etc to access a wider habitat and thus more foraging opportunities. It'll get you talking to your neighbours too! 
Stu Bullen

10 Keep invasive species (such as bramble and bindweed) cut back occasionally and you will be rewarded with a high diversity of plants. Hedging plants provide food and nuts, but take a while to become established. 

Create a pond and put lots of log and stonepiles around the garden. It really works - I have found frogs and newts sheltering under mine, as well as bats feeding high above. George Holliday

11 Encouraging hedgehogs into your garden is easier than you think. Introduce plenty of plant cover, a couple of brick feeding tunnels, log piles and fresh water and you will be well on your way to helping these threatened mammals. Leave access gaps in fences so that they can come and go as they wish. Sue Jarvis


12 Think in 3D when landscaping. Creating a bank of soil or some sort of soil heap can act as a magnet for wildlife. Ours became a haven for wildlife once spring arrived. The emerging red campion and nettles were heaving with invertebrates, and insects and small mammals used it for their burrows. John Dunn


Sarah McPhersonFeatures editor, BBC Wildlife Magazine

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