Nature Friendly Spaces

Nature Friendly Spaces

By making the environment around your home more nature-friendly, you can support a variety of wildlife and boost biodiversity in your area. A nature-friendly space is one that has safe environments for all sorts of animals to move through, live in, or find food and shelter.

If you don’t think any space around your home is suitable for wildlife, have a look at our page on Indoor Plants for some inspiration on what plants can grow inside your home, or could you get in contact with a local park to see how you could boost wildlife there?

Things you might need:

Dark corners
Small rocks, bricks or foliage
Hedges, bushes or trees
Pond, water feature

Activity details:

Age: All
Preparation time: Variable
Running time: Ongoing

Learning points:

How changing environments affect animals
What species live around your home
The names of different animal groups

Have a think about what kind of animals you’d like more of around your home - some are easier than others! Once you’ve decided, research which environments they thrive in and get started.

Fish and Amphibians:

A small pond or water feature can be a fantastic habitat for so many living things. Amphibians will find their way into your pond given time, but you’ll need to purchase the fish.


Mammals are a bit trickier. Hedges are a lovely habitat for hedgehogs (obviously) as well as small mice. You can also get bat boxes to place up in trees. Bats prefer their boxes as high as possible to keep away from predators.


You can make or buy a simple bird house to hang on a tree or against a wall. Or have a go at making our bird feeder.

Insects and other bugs:

Set up a pile of rocks, bricks, logs, twigs, leaves and rotting wood in a dark and damp corner.

What about... butterflies?

Butterflies flock to sun-loving flowers that produce lots of pollen and nectar. They are also attracted to brightly coloured flowers - particularly blues and yellows. Could you plant any new flowers?

Here are some good ones:

Bluebell, busy lizzie, chives, chrysanthemum, cornflower, daisy, forget-me-not, heather, honeysuckle, hydrangea, lavender, mint, onion, pansy, primrose, parsley, phlox, thyme and Verbena bonariensis.

Take it further...

If you planning to make a change to the environment around your home, this is the perfect opportunity to gather some before and after data. Start off with an aim, do a pre-survey, perform an action and then do a post-survey. Then share your result (we'd love to hear about it!).

An Example:

Aim: I want to increase the variety of butterflies in my local park.
Pre-survey: I walk around my park and count how many different types of butterfly I see.
Action: With permission, I plant new flowers in an area of the park. I look after them and maintain them all year round.
Post-survey: I return at the same time the next year with my flowers in bloom and I walk around my park and count how many different types of butterfly I see.
Results: I compare last year to this year.

Atlas Moth
Atlas moth, Attacus atlas, illustrated in Shaw & Nodder, Naturalist’s miscellany (1789).