Between 1960 and 2014, the most recent year with available data, Earth’s population of wild vertebrates has declined by 60%. The biggest reason for this is human activity that has resulted in habitat loss and degradation. Whether you have a balcony or a large piece of land surrounding your home, you can help to boost habitats for wildlife, as well as offering sources of food and water, which can be hugely beneficial and can help to protect endangered species.
Keeping your gutters clear for wildlife
A buildup of debris in your guttering and drains can attract animals. They’ll want to use the debris for their nests or they may just want to have a look through it to see what they can find. Not only can this result in wildlife getting stuck in the guttering or drain, which can lead to their death, but it’s also attracting animals towards your home, rather than your garden. The debris and animals in your guttering will cause it to stop working effectively and the weight will lead to it pulling away from your home, which could damage it in the process. This is why it’s so important to keep your guttering clean and free of debris, for the sake of both wildlife and your home.
Install a bird box
Birds are a very important part of a garden’s ecosystem, so prioritizing ways to make your garden an inviting, safe space for them is a good place to start. Building or buying and installing bird boxes and feeding boxes will help them to thrive. If you or your neighbors have cats, make sure the bird box is up high and in a sheltered area where they can take cover. Protein-rich feed is best, such as fat balls in the spring and seeds in the winter. Where possible, put the feed out when you know cats are most likely to be indoors, or keep your cat inside for a while after putting the feed out.
Install a pond
Installing a pond into your garden offers a habitat for a huge range of animals, from amphibians and invertebrates to bathing garden birds, as well as being a source of clean water. You don’t need a huge pond as even small ones are beneficial. Make sure you have stones or branches to help animals get in and out and waterlilies can help to prevent the water from becoming stagnant. Ideally, a pond needs to be in an area that isn’t full sun or full shade to keep the water healthy and to be of the most benefit to wildlife. Pond-life prefers natural water, so filling it and topping it up with harvested rainwater, such as from a rainwater tank, is best.
It’s vital that everyone does their part to help wildlife, whether you install a bird box and leave out food on your balcony or you put in a huge wildlife pond in your back garden. Every little helps and can mean the difference between your local wildlife thriving or struggling to survive.