Wildlife Gardening factsheets



With thanks to the Wildlife Trusts and Gloucestershire Widlife Trust 

Did you know?

The total of size of all the UK’s gardens is bigger than all our National Nature Reserves put together!

"Whether it is bee orchids on the lawn or grass snakes in the compost heap, there’s pure delight in these chance encounters with garden wildlife."

- Christine Luxton, head of development

Wildlife gardens including school grounds

Garden by Juliet HawkinsGarden by Juliet Hawkins

For many of us, the garden is a sacred haven we retreat to at the end of the day. But it’s not just people that find refuge on their doorstep. As habitats in the wider countryside continue to fragment and disappear, gardens – whatever their size – are becoming increasingly important for wildlife too. By celebrating Living Gardens alive with animals and plants, rather than focusing on tasks and target species, Suffolk Wildlife Trust hopes to improve gardens’ role as vital wildlife corridors while inspiring and helping more people to let nature back in. We hope the resources below will help you create a space that is good for plants and animals, but also good for you.

Creating a Living Garden

Attracting wildlife in to your garden 

Whether it is leaving areas of lawn un-mown, letting fallen wood lie, tolerating a nettle patch or creating a log pile there are a number of simple things you can do to make your garden a refuge for wildlife. See how small changes can make a big difference.

Attracting hedgehogs in to your garden - hedgehog numbers are declining countrywide. In Suffolk we are collecting sightings of hedgehogs to find out just how bad the local situation is. Find out more about helping hedgehogs in your garden, and take part in the survey.

Hedgehog by Tom Marshall

Attracting butterflies in to your garden

There are more than 30 species of butterfly found in Suffolk, but many are becoming rarer due to losses of wildflower meadows, hedgerows and woodlands.
Find out how you can encourage different species to find a haven in your garden.

Painted lady by Jon Hawkins

Attracting bats in to your garden

Thirteen bat species have been found in Suffolk over the past thirty years, from the most common Pipistrelle to records of a lone hibernating Brandt’s bat. Find out how you can improve the chances of attracting bats in to your garden.

Pipistrelle by Amy Lewis

Attracting reptiles in to your garden

Suffolk is home to two species of snake - grass snake and adder - and two species of lizard - common lizard and slow-worm. Find out what reptiles are using your garden and how you can help provide important habitat.

Slow worm by Amy Lewis

Attracting amphibians in to your garden

With the disappearance of traditional spawning grounds the refuge found in gardens has become increasingly important to amphibians. See how you can encourage frogs, toads and newts in to your garden.

Smooth newt by Philip Precey

Garden ponds for wildlife

A pond can attract a greater variety of wildlife than perhaps any other single feature in the garden. See how you can provide a breeding space for frogs, toads, newts and dragonflies as well as creating a habitat for a host of other creatures.

Common frogs mating by Richard Burkmar

Feeding birds

Many people like to supplement their garden birds' diet with extra food – especially in the winter. Find out what, when and where you need to feed the birds.

Blue tit on feeder by Gillian Day

Bird and bat boxes

As our environments have changed, birds and bats have suffered a lack of suitable natural breeding sites. You can help create a welcome refuge by making one of these nesting or roosting boxes.

Lesser horseshoe by Arthur Rivett

Nest box cameras

Want to get closer to the action and see inside your bird box or get a bird's eye view of your feeding station? Create a home movie with a difference.

Blue tits in box by Gillian Day

Bees and wasps

Not only are bees and wasps fascinating social creatures, they are also vital pollinators. Without them Suffolk’s orchards would have little fruit, arable crops would produce little yield, and many of our garden fruit, vegetables and flowers would not flourish. See how you can attract bees and wasps to your garden.

Bumblebee by Jon Hawkins

Composting in your garden

The addition of a compost heap to your garden provides the perfect habitat at different times of the year for a wide range of species. See how you can help provide food and shelter to wildlife while saving money.

Earthworms by Alan Price

FAQs, troubleshooting and useful contacts

Are you worried about something in your garden? Whether it is a bird out of a nest, a wasp nest or a problematic pond, we can help - or put you in contact with someone who can. Browse our FAQs and useful contacts.

Wasps by Bob Coyle

Suffolk Species


Hedgehogs need your help. Please tell us about the hedgehogs where you live by taking part in our hedgehog survey

Bee Orchids

Think you have an orchid on your lawn? Find out what protection these beautiful flowers enjoy and tips for an orchid friendly garden.

Bee orchid by Janet Packham

Stag Beetles

These distinctive beetles are becoming more reliant on gardens as housing developments and intensive farming methods eat up their traditional habitats.
See how you can help halt the decline of the stag beetle.

Stag beetle by Neil Phillips


Identifying and recording the wildlife in your garden

There is pure joy in experiencing nature in our gardens, whether it is frogs, toads or even rare great crested newts in ponds; peacock and tortoiseshell butterflies around a window box; or grass snakes, badgers and owls in larger outside spaces.
Find out where to identify and record your sightings.

Robin on camera by Chris Maguire


Enjoying your garden wildlife with children

For many of us the sound of bees buzzing among the flowers, the sight of tadpoles emerging from jelly-like frogspawn and the smell of freshly cut grass are our first impressions of nature. See how you and your child can make the most of the wildlife in your garden.

Pond dipping by Amy Lewis