Despite the Indian Summer, it is time now to put the garden to bed for the winter. On the school flower patch, of course, there is still lots to be done. There may be tulips to plant, natural Christmas decorations to make, wreaths to weave and indoor bulbs to force. Now is also THE time to think about attracting wildlife to your garden. Provide a home for friendly creatures now and they will reward you in the Spring by doing sterling work eating up all those nasty pests which could threaten your flower crop.
Here are our favourite ideas for attracting wildlife to your school or home garden using recycled, repurposed or inexpensive materials.
- Fill a net bag (such as those used for bulbs, potatoes or onions) with pine cones to make a ladybird house.
- Sink a terracotta pot on its side up to about a third and fill with leaves for frogs and toads.
- Stuff tubes with straw to provide shelter for beetles and ladybirds.
- Pots filled with drilled bamboo canes, hollow stems or drinking straws are a great place for solitary bees to hang out.
- Leaves make great mulch keeping the soil warm and the weeds down but you can also brush them under hedges to make a cosy hidey hole for hedgehogs.
- Stack a pile of dead wood in a corner of your garden or school grounds and watch the minibeasts move in.
- Fashion a bumble bee home from a medium sized pot loosely filled with dry moss. Make sure the hole in the bottom is at least 20mm in diameter. Bury it upside down in the ground and protect the entrance from the rain with a stone or two.
- Corrugated cardboard rolled up and secured inside a cut down 2litre plastic drinks bottle is a good way to help lacewings stay snug.
So set your nature dectectives off on a wildlife adventure in your school grounds to find the best locations to position these wildlife shelters.
You'll find more inspiration on our pinterest board.
We also like this instruction sheet for creating bug hotels and bee houses from David Domoney.