Gardens as habitat for wildlife


There’s still no sign of the elusive hedgehogs. I have no idea whether they’re still in our garden or not. Hedgehogs can travel up to 2 miles in one night so probably they’re not but I hope they visit us from time-to-time.

I continue to put food out for them along with the wildlife camera but so far they haven’t visited the feeders. One night recently I happened to wake up at around 1am and decided to go out to see whether I could see them. I grabbed a torch and ventured into the backyard but as soon as my light could be seen from the roof the parent gulls up there went berserk and woke up the entire neighbourhood so I had to go back inside. At least we have some good burglar alarms should anyone try to break in. I did see a toad in a little bowl of water I’d put out though which made me happy and made me think we need a frog/toad pond.

I continue to put the wildlife camera out and here’s what I’ve spotted so far in the videos below. On the second night after getting the hedgehogs a neighbourhood cat tried to get into the hedgehog house. The video below is Horace’s house which doesn’t have a predator baffle. I can now see why these are important. If your hedgehog house doesn’t have a predator baffle you can also put a brick about 10cm in front of the doorway to prevent predators from stretching out in front of the door and reaching in. Perhaps this is why he didn’t return to it?

A couple of nights later after moving one of the houses to near our compost heap where I thought they’d be happier I caught this mouse.

Then the day before yesterday a gull getting an easy meal.

But most of exciting of all was the fox who visited us last night.

It’s wonderful to see wildlife in the garden whether it’s a bird, toad, hedgehog, fox or something else. I view every bit of garden quite differently now – as habitat for wildlife which makes me dislike grass and paving stones all the more because they don’t support much life and provide habitat for very little. Gardens with plants and water support life. Paving stones support nothing. I’d really like to not have any lawn at all and slowly I’m taking bits away and converting it to garden. Maybe one day we won’t have a lawn.

I can also see the benefits of not having a highly manicured garden. Many small organisms need piles of logs, sticks, and leaf litter to hide in. Our obsession with tidy gardens along with a pristine lawn and decking or paving stones has meant there’s very little habitat to support native animals. And don’t get me started on astroturf. That stuff should be banned in gardens.


5 responses to “Gardens as habitat for wildlife”

    • Even without a garden you can do some gardening in pots indoors. I’ve just repotted my avocado tree that I grew from the seed of a supermarket-bought avocado. This is probably the last time I’ll repot it as the pot is huge and I don’t think I can get a bigger one for inside. And if I could it would be too big to move.

      • It’s the benefit you can give to wildlife that you can’t do indoors, it’s been wonderful to see what you do.

      • Ah yes, that’s true. If I was rich I’d buy up land in the countryside and re-wild it. But I’m not so a garden is all I can do so I want to make the most of every bit of it.

      • I just thought of something- you can put bird feeders on your window and also bird nesting boxes under the eaves of houses.

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