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Build a wildlife haven

Lisa Garden on 09-09-2014

Build a wildlife haven to provide shelter for minibeasts over winter and they'll quickly move in. Quite apart from the joy of having a garden buzzing with life, it's great for the environment and you'll also be attracting a free pollinating service plus built-in pest control for next season.

Most creatures are searching for somewhere to spend the winter about now, so it's a great time to tuck different hidey-holes into sheltered, shady spots all around the garden. You can pick up specialist bug boxes to suit all kinds of creepy-crawlies at your garden centre. Ladybirds love the hollow tunnels in our ladybird towers, while lacewings will prefer the lacewing house with its internal chamber filled with straw (or bark if you prefer to attract ladybirds).

Solitary bees - essential early-season pollinators - crawl into the holes in our bee box to make their nests; or if it's larger animals you're looking for, hedgehog houses are perfect for your prickly friends to settle down in for the winter. Add bundles of rotting wood for wood-boring beetles such as stag beetles, plus a cool damp pile of stones or old tiles for frogs and toads and you'll have a whole little community taking up residence.