Having an area for wildlife in your garden, however small is a great idea. Whilst these areas can never replace nature reserves, they can act as a ‘pub stop’ for creatures.
Planting a lavender or rosemary bush in a sunny position, will attract bees and butterflies. An old washing-up bowl with some rocks in it, in a shady place, will create a mini pond for a passing toad or frog. Night scented stock will attract flies which in turn may bring bats and birds to your garden. A bird box on a wall could give a home to a bluetit.
Planting trees in a small garden may not be a good idea, you have to consider their eventual size, and potential damage to utilities or nearby buildings. Oak trees, and similar, need to be planted at least 10 metres from any building. Certain charities can plant trees on your behalf in one of their woodlands. If you’re planting trees to off-set carbon bear in mind that most trees will never reach maturity. An English oak tree over a 100 year period will ‘capture’ up to 1 ½ tonnes of carbon dioxide, according to Forestry Commission research. Turn your heating down by 1 degree and you will cut carbon by 1/3 of a tonne per year. In just three years you could have stopped a tonne of carbon dioxide going into the environment, just by wearing a jumper! The Footprint Trust does not plant trees to off-set carbon, we promote energy and water efficiency, and greener lifestyles as an immediate way of cutting CO2.
Get a waterbutt and harvest rainwater for your garden and your houseplants.