The Butterfly Brothers aka Jim and Joel Ashton have been designing, building and taking care of wildlife gardens, often in urban areas, since 2006. Find out more in our feature on page 116 of May's The Simple Things or read on to discover 12 ways to attract wildlife to your patch.
1 A patch of nettles can support more than 40 kinds of insects, as well as birds, which come for the autumn seeds. They’re also a food source for peacock butterfly larvae.
2 A feeder close to shrub cover is a safe place for birds to feed.
3 Hoverflies love the flowers of the native guelder rose (Viburnum opulus), and birds, its red berries.
4 Rowan trees are valuable to a number of moths, their caterpillars feeding on the leaves; the spring flowers attract pollinating insects, while birds love its autumn berries.
5 A variety of sprawling trees, shrubs and climbers attract foraging and sheltering birds, as well as provide potential nest sites.
6 A small pond in a sunny spot is a haven for all kinds of wildlife, including frogs, toads and newts.
7 Hops are a rich source of nectar for all kinds of insects, while the dense growth provides birds with shelter and nesting opportunities.
8 Long-flowering valerian is a good steady source of nectar for bees, butterflies and moths.
9 Essential for the humans: a seating area from which to watch the creatures’ comings and goings.
10 An alder tree attracts birds such as goldfinches and siskins with its seeds; caterpillars love the leaves.
11 A lawn left to flower is a haven for bees and other pollinators.
12 Open fences let hedgehogs roam.