Have a look at some of the tips below. We are sure there’s something you can do in your garden too:
- Plant native trees in groups of three or more rather than singly.
- Avoid planting non-native single-species hedgerows such as Leyland Cyprus.
- Select plant species that will attract and support wildlife
- Retain existing trees where possible especially old native trees. Standing deadwood or retained tree stumps are valuable for birds, bats and invertebrates.
- Use natural methods of pest control such as beer traps rather then slug pellets which kill birds.
- Avoid use of weed-killers – weed manually or use plastic sheeting covered with bark chippings.
- Retain stone walls. Not only are they part of the traditional landscape, but the cracks and crevices are home to creatures like stoat, lizard and wren. Pointing destroys all of these mini-habitats.
- Install bird and bat boxes on your site. Boxes for swallows, martins and swifts can be incorporated into your house design.
- Put food out for birds, or install bird feeders or tables. Make sure these are in open areas with no access for cats, rats or squirrels. Put a bell on your cat’s collar!
- Keep a pile of logs in one corner for your local hedgehog. Old piles of twigs or hollow stems also provide hibernation places for insects like ladybirds, or nest sites for harmless and beneficial bumblebees.
- Retain ponds or ditches on your site. Dig a new pond if one was lost when the house was built. Avoid infilling ponds.
- Check for bats in the attic and wall cavities if you are extending or converting your existing house. If bats are present Bat Conservation Ireland or National Parks and Wildlife Service can give advice.
- Check for Barn owls in old trees and farm buildings. If they are present contact BirdWatch Ireland for advice before carrying out any works.
- Set a small corner of your backyard aside as a wildflower area or meadow (this will need to be managed by occasional mowing or grazing after the flowers have set seed).
- Support Peat-free gardening to help protect our bogs.
(Source: Good Practice Guidelines for Householders, Kildare County Council)
And here are two more documents worth reading:
Nature in the City: A Guide to Biodiversity in Cork City (Part 2 of 2) – this particular document has many more tips, i.e. choices of trees etc.