5 Bird Garden Don'ts
Although most gardens are designed primarily with humans in mind if you are serious about attracting a wide variety of wild birds to your garden there are some things you definitely shouldn’t be doing.
Don’t remove your lawn
Although in recent years there has been a trend towards decking, paving and even artificial grass to keep gardens low maintenance a lawn made from real grass is needed to help attract birds. Even a small patch will be a haven for seeds and insects for birds to feed from. Birds will also enjoy sunning themselves in grass and grass cuttings make great nesting material.
Don’t forget about natural food
A range of bird feeders will attract birds to your garden but natural foods are also essential. Fruit trees and berry-laden shrubs and bushes will provide birds with plenty of nutrients during the late summer and autumn and birds that hoard food will enjoy nut trees. Leave a patch of garden to go wild to provide seeds.
Don’t use harmful chemicals
Even small amounts of chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides or cleaners can be harmful to birds so use natural alternatives wherever possible. There are plenty of natural fertilizers available to buy or try making your own compost from household food waste. If you live near the coast then seaweed is a great fertilizer but check your local bye-laws to check on the legality of removing it from the beach. If you must use chemicals in your garden keep them away from bird tables, feeders and bird baths.
Don’t remove dead wood and leaves
A dead tree or shrub may not look very pretty but it makes a great home for insects and larvae for birds to eat. Birds will also use the tree for shelter or even to build nests and you may be lucky enough to attract a woodpecker. Over winter leave a heap of dead leaves for birds to use for their nests come spring.
Don’t solely plant non-native plants
Exotic plants can add plenty of colour and variety to your garden but birds are less likely to choose them for food or nesting. Choose some native trees and flowers – they are also more likely to survive as they are better adapted to UK soil and weather.