This summer get the kids to explore your garden to discover what creatures live among your plants. Here are some fun activities and some ways you can adapt your garden to attract wildlife.
If you place a small plate of ripe fruit onto a larger plate full of water (this will keep the ants away) you will hopefully start to attract some beautiful butterflies. You can even join in with the Big Butterfly Count, by counting how many different types of butterfly you see in 15 minutes! There’s a butterfly chart you can download off their site to help you identify which species you have seen.
Make a bird feeder
This is simple and fun, all you need is some Cheerios and pipe cleaners! Just thread the Cheerios onto pipe cleaners and connect them together by twisting the tops.
Make a sheltered habitat for animals an insects to shelter
Either make a log pile from unwanted pieces of wood or use a pile of rocks and soon you will find a number of creatures calling it home.
Trap some moths
Take a white sheet out at night and shine a torch onto it. Soon you will attract a number of moths. There are several thousand species of moths that live in the UK, so you might need a book to identify the moths.
If you’re lucky enough to have a pond in your garden, get a sturdy net and investigate what creatures are living in its depths. From the delicate water boatman, to dragonfly and frogs you will be surprised by what you see.
If you don’t seem to have much nature in your garden here are some easy ways to attract more wildlife to your garden:
Provide some water
This can be done by making a small pond, getting a birdbath or even just putting a small bowl of water hidden in the bushes.
Leave an area of the garden to go wild
This will provide shelter and food for many animals and insects.
Make a home for birds and bats
Buy or make a nesting box for birds or even bats to nest in. Make sure you put it in a sheltered place and high enough to be out of reach from cats.
Plant some fragrant flowers
Plant some flowers such as buddleia and lavender, or allow dandelions to grow in your garden to attract butterflies and bees.
Build a bee hotel
A bundle of hollow stems or bamboo shoots can be tied together and then tied to a branch or hidden in a bush to make a ‘bee hotel’ for them to rest.
If you need some help identifying some of the creatures in your garden there are a number of books that you can get, these two by the RSPB are fab!!
Let us know what wildlife you find in your garden we would love to know!!