Wildlife in Your Garden this Summer

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With the summer holidays starting in Edinburgh, we've been thinking about how we can make our outdoor space better for British wildlife.

Inspired by the number of ladybirds that seem to have found home in Portobello, we've been thinking of how you can bring a little bit of the wild into your own outdoor space.

Whether you are lucky enough to have acres of garden or simply a balcony with a plant or two, there's lots you can do you help out the local wildlife this summer. Not only can it be fascinating to watch the life around you in full swing, it also helps to conserve the British wildlife for generations to come. And who wouldn't want their children to experience the joy of catching ladybirds after all?

It's a common misconception that you need lots of outdoor space to encourage wildlife - any amount of outdoor space can be utilised, whatever area of Edinburgh you may be in. Obviously the more space you have, the more you can work with. But even a window or a balcony - which is perhaps more common in city life - can create a lovely home for nature.

No Garden Space

If you're in a flat or small property with little or no garden space, don't fret. There's still a few things you can do you encourage wildlife to visit you and give you a pleasent view from your window. Window boxes are a great option that not only attract a number of insects (including bees and butterflies) but they also give you a lovely colourful view from your window. Avoid opting for the usual garden centre flowers and instead go for pollen & nectar risk flowers such as Allium and Lavender. Another option to consider is a window feeder for birds but success with this will depend on how active you are around your window as birds may be detered if you are often close by.


Window boxes or planting pots work well for attracting bees and butterflies to balconies also, plus having a bit more space for sunflowers is a bonus too. But another way to bring in the butterflies is with a banquet of fruit which is past it's best. Simply pop a few mushy bananas (peeled) on a plate and watch the butterflies flock around to eat it up as it starts to rot. Just beware or wasps and hornets who may too want in on the treat too, although don't fret as they are likely not to be interested in you and only the food that is on offer.

Small or Shared Gardens

If you are fortune enough to have a bit of outdoor space on ground level, you open yourself up to a world of wildlife that can't fly but is just as (if not more) exciting. Hedgehogs are always on the look out for safe places to feed and nest, particularly since the UK population is currently declining. You can start by creating easier access for hedgehogs by ensuring there is ground level holes in your fencing/walls that allow them to come and gowith ease. Just be concious of shared gardens which home smaller dogs or pet rabbits - the last thing you want is your neighbours beloved pet disappearing! Hedgehogs don't benefit from bread & milk as was once believed, so instead pop down some dog food, chopped nuts or cooked potatoes to give them a feast to keep their stores up for winter hibernation. It's also wise that you pop the food into a small box with access large enough for hedgehogs but small enough to prevent cats and foxes chancing their luck.

Large Gardens

All of the above are possible in a large garden too and you have the freedom to do them on a bigger scale too. Other things worth considering are setting up a compost bin which will encourage woodlouse, worms, toads and even grass snakes to visit your garden - plus it's great for recylcing with benefits the enviroment. You could along build a bat box as a safe haven for bats to hide and feed, as well as bird boxes for starlings. Just be aware with nests (especially those of bats) that they will be protected by legislation once in place. And whilst they are occupied, you will not be able to evict your little tenants, which may affect the value or interest in your property, as well as the option to extend or do any major works.

For more ideas and inspiration on how you can make your garden a home for nature, take a look at the RSPB website.



Passionate about property and providing great service at value for money.

Amy Lorimer
Content Creator at Cameron Stephen & Co. solicitors and estate agents, Edinburgh
0131 555 1234


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