It may often be the perception that you need a large garden in the countryside to help and attract wildlife, however every home can and should do their bit, no matter how big or small the outdoor area. Small gardens, patios, courtyards and terraces are all great places for wildlife, and with a variety of wildlife-friendly space saving solutions available you can really maximise the opportunity to encourage and care for your local wildlife.
With urbanisation and developments on the increase it is becoming more difficult for garden birds and wildlife to find natural food sources. It is therefore often the case that temporary shortages of natural foods occur, especially during the colder days of winter and busy breeding season, which is why year-round feeding has been recommended in the UK for over 20 years. Many new build estate gardens are also smaller than they were 20 years ago, but it’s quite easy to use your garden to help the birds, even if you have limited space.
Just because space may be restrictive it doesn't mean the menu you offer your garden birds has to be too. There’s a wide variety of birds foods available; from seed mixes and peanuts, to high calorie food in jars and fat balls & suet cakes. For many bird foods a bird feeder is not needed, they can just be placed outside, which is also beneficial when space is tight.
Bird feeders come in all different shapes and sizes, so there’s a feeder out there for everyone no matter on the space or budget! Our bestselling pole feeding systems are highly recommended by many customers as they’re a great way to offer a range of feeders easily without any hassle, and without taking up too much room.
For those where outside space is limited, we recommend window feeders. They securely attach with suction cups and will fit directly onto the outside of your window enabling you to watch your feathered friends up close. Again, the range is wide, from smaller seed and peanut feeders, hanging options for fat products and even window tables. You should consider what is suitable for your window and of course the height at which you will need to refill it! Most bird food products can be put onto window feeders so there is no less choice. Wall mounted feeders, hanging brackets and adaptors can help you create feeding stations by mounting traditional feeders on fences, decking or balconies.
Even if you only have a balcony or roof garden you can still put up a nest box as Robins, Blue Tits and Great Tit’s are likely to be around, especially if where you live is of some height above the ground floor and if the nest box is well placed. For best results, we suggest planting wall climbing plants around or in close proximity to the nest box, as this will create some additional cover, and will help birds feel more secure - increasing the chances of your nest box being occupied! Remember, nest box aren't just used for the breeding season, they are also used for shelter during the winter months. You can put up a nest box at any time of year, there’s never not a good time. If you want your nest box to be used for breeding though we recommend putting them up before February, to give your birds enough time to check them out and become familiar with them before the breeding season begins.
Regardless of space, or how many birds you have visiting your garden, it is important to choose good quality, calorie packed food to give the birds the help that they need. Sunflower hearts and peanuts contain lots of energy, or you can choose a mix such as Hi-Energy No Mess or Hi-Energy Supreme that are also rich in calories.
You don't need to have lots of space to encourage pollinating bees and insects as decorative pots and containers of different sizes are ideal for planting up a range of wildlife-friendly plants. There are a variety of perennial plants, shrubs, fruit trees and mini buddlejas that can be grown in containers and will attract a range of butterflies and beneficial insects. You could also add a insect hotel, there a variety of options and sizes vary!
As well as providing food, feeders, nest boxes and plants to encourage birds and insects, there’s also a variety of products available to help other garden wildlife such as bats, hedgehogs, squirrels or frogs. Take a look at our ‘Wildlife’ section for inspiration.
Don’t forget, whatever you do in your own space, however small, will benefit and be very much appreciated by all the wildlife that visit.
If you are still unsure about how you can help your garden wildlife when space is limited, please give us a call and one of our friendly team will be happy to assist you.