Towns and Gardens

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Towns and Gardens - istockphotoTowns and Gardens - istockphoto

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. And more often than not, it’s our very own back gardens that these memories come from: little havens for wildlife dotted through the deserts of urban sprawl and intensively managed farmland. In fact, the total of size of all the UK’s gardens is bigger than all our National Nature Reserves put together!


From parklands to window boxes, wildlife thrives in gardens

From tiny backyards and roof terraces to formal gardens and paddocks, all our gardens are important for wildlife as they offer a variety of habitats. They also link up natural spaces in the countryside, so species can move about freely.

A garden pond can be home to frogs and toads, or even rare great crested newts. Trees and shrubs provide good breeding sites for robins and wrens, as well as shelter for voles and wood mice. Blue tits, great tits and greenfinches will all visit a bird feeder attached to a window, while peacock and tortoiseshell butterflies will flutter around flowers in a window box. Larger gardens may even attract species like grass snakes, badgers, owls and woodpeckers.

A bit of peace and quiet

Gardens are good for people too. They provide a place where we can relax, take in the fresh air and sun, enjoy the company of friends and family, and nurture our own little patch of nature.

Many people enjoy watching wildlife from the comfort of their home. Nest boxes are an ideal way to encourage birds to stopover in your garden, cat food will attract nightly visits from prickly hedgehogs and log piles provide safe hiding places for slow-worms and beetles.

How we’re helping

Despite our love of gardening, our gardens and allotments are vanishing under paving for cars and development. For this reason, Wildlife Trusts across the UK are encouraging people to embrace wildlife-friendly gardening, providing a little space for nature on your doorstep.

To find out more about wildlife-friendly gardening, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), where there's plenty of facts and wildlife gardening tips and advice to get you started.

Typical garden wildlife

Common frog, common toad, great crested newt, smooth newt, hedgehog, badger, fox, wood mouse, robin, wren, blue tit, great tit, greenfinch, goldfinch, blackbird, house sparrow, great spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, peacock butterfly, tortoiseshell butterfly, red admiral butterfly, ivy, holly, bumblebee, grass snake, slow-worm

Other Towns and gardens habitats