As an environmental charity it is important to have areas around our grounds dedicated to housing wildlife. However, it can be quite daunting in your own garden, especially when you don’t want to spend lots of money or if you’re not quite sure if what you’re doing will benefit the wildlife around you. Here at Kindrogan we have gotten into the habit of making homes for wildlife for free using everyday recycled materials. Here are a few examples of how to encourage wildlife without breaking the bank:
The wee bug hoose!
This bug house was made completely out of recycled materials found around the centre! The foundations was an old, unused wood store, which was cleared out and repaired using scrap wood from old bed slats. The wooden box compartments are old wooden microscope boxes that are no longer used and the bottles were taken once empty. We found some plant pots that had been emptied and some bricks that were found scattered around the ground. The rest of the materials are natural such as; twigs, leaf litter, pine cones and logs.
This bug house is now home to a variety of wildlife including nesting birds! We hope that this will continue to encourage a variety of invertebrates and be enjoyed by many of our visitors.
If you wanted to make one of these in your own garden the best thing is to find a structure that is already established such as some wooden pallets that have been left outside for a while or a pile of old plant pots as it gives you a good starting point to build from.
Most people don’t like to encourage small mammals like rodents into their gardens, however, at Kindrogan we enjoy watching and studying small mammals such as Bank Voles and Wood Mice.
Encouraging small mammals can be as easy as having a small piece of MDF wood lying down on the grass, you may see some at our centre and think it’s just been left and forgotten. But if you lifted it up you would see a network of tunnels weaving through the dead grass and sometimes even see a small mammal before it runs away.
A dead hedgerow can be a great resting spot and hiding area for small birds, voles and the occasional Red Squirrel. All that is required is a few thick branches to use as posts and lots of thin long twigs to weave in between the posts to fill it.
Here is a hedgerow made by some volunteers who visited Kindrogan in the early spring, follow the link to learn more on what they got up to during their stay.
You may think a pile of logs in the corner of your garden may look a little messy and not too inviting. However, they are perfects for small birds and mammals to shelter and hunt for food such as invertebrates hiding in the dead wood. It sometimes helps to put some food out, like bird seed, on the log pile to encourage a variety of wildlife to visit. At Kindrogan our log pile has had many visitors such as: Tawny owls, Red squirrels, Hedgehogs and the occasional Pine Marten (seen below).
As you can see there are many methods to attract all kinds of wildlife into outdoor spaces near you. If you are visiting Kindrogan anytime soon, be sure to look out for all the little ways we encourage wildlife at our centre and maybe take a few ideas home with you.