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Top ten plants for wildlife

All wildlife in the garden needs a safe place to rest, feed, breed, nest and roost whether it is a lone blackbird or a family of wood mice!

These refuges take shape in many forms, from old log piles to compost heaps, artificial wildlife boxes to ancient hedgerows, all of which provide excellent places for our native species to shelter, court, mate and feed.

Why are plants so important for wildlife?

Growing the right sort of plants, trees and shrubs is very important when planning your wildlife garden, as having the right flora will encourage wildlife and provide them with habitat and food all year round. The huge variety of plants, trees and shrubs can be overwhelming. But fear not! Our guide below will help give you a few ideas and bring wonderful native wildlife flocking, quite literally to your garden!

 

Male blackbird in brambles
Our Top Ten Plants

1. Ivy
One of the most important plants in the garden, as it provides food and shelter for birds and mammals all year

2. Common Nettle
Another great plant to have in the garden, as it supplies food for emerging caterpillars as well as a refuge for adult butterflies and moths

3. Honeysuckle
A brilliant climber to have in the garden, provides food and shelter and a lovely scent day and night.

4. Buddleia
Again, really important in the garden, providing food and shelter for birds, bees, butterflies and moths

5. Bramble
Provides nesting sites for dozens of small bird species. The leaves provide food for many moths, the flowers provide nectar for butterflies and the berries provide food for birds, mammals and insects late into the year.

6. Lavender
A wonderful scent and bees love it!

7. Primrose
Flowering early in spring, primroses provide essential nectar for bees and bee flies.

8. Dog rose
Finches, such as the rare bullfinch LOVE devouring their seeds

9. Marigold
Provides nectar for insects and attracts hoverflies, which keep the aphid population down!

10. Bugle
Excellent cover for invertebrates such as the silver-y-moth and amphibians such as toads

 

Written by Emma Fraser
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