Rewild Your Garden

Rewilding your green space, will help native plants & wildlife

written byMatt Davies Co-Founder, Mossy Earth

Matt Davies

The rewilding movement can often feel beyond our reach. It’s usually associated with vast landscapes of remote wilderness and large carnivores. While this is often the case, we can apply rewilding principles to our own lives. By rewilding your garden, balcony, or window boxes, you can help native plants and animals, no matter how small the area. Here, we’ve put together a list of things you can do to rewild your outdoor space.

Take a step back

Relax your mindset

Let your outdoor space get a little wild. We’re often used to the idea of tidy gardens but too much manicuring can strip your garden of its ecological value. Letting nature take its course in your garden space can provide food and habitat for a variety of species.

Rewild your lawn

If you have an area of grass, let it grow fairly tall before you cut it to provide shelter for wildlife. Let native flowers self seed on your lawn to provide pollinators with food, in turn attracting birds and other predators to your garden.

Woodpiles and compost

Leaving piles of wood and leaves to rot provides habitat for an abundance of invertebrates, fungi, and moss and can provide a sustainable source of compost.

An image of a of a densely over grown, rewilded garden, vibrant in colour and life.
Let your garden get a little wild.

Plant the right way

Insect friendly plants

Garden centres will often advertise which species are good for bees, butterflies and other native insects. Providing food for pollinators will attract birds and other predators and create a thriving ecosystem in your backyard. If you live in a flat, fill a window box with insect friendly plants to attract bees and butterflies.

Native vs non-native plants

Non-native plants that are closely related to our native species can provide a wealth of benefits to local wildlife. Planting native species, however, will avoid problems with non-natives becoming invasive and will improve that chances that your garden will thrive in the local climate. If you decide to plant native species, make sure they are of genuine native stock and sourced legally.

Create wildlife corridors

Areas of concrete and short grass represent a barrier to wildlife movement. Plant borders and pathways to create a wildlife corridor for small mammals like hedgehogs.

Beautiful wild flowers planted along a pathway in a garden. Rewild your garden with such colours and biodiversity.
Planting along paths or driveways can create a wildlife corridors. Rewild your garden with such colours and biodiversity.

Decorate

Install feeders and nest boxes

Encourage birds into your garden with feeders and boxes to nest in. Also consider planting fruit bearing trees to attract birds and squirrels. Install a bug hotel where native insects can lay their eggs. If you’re in an area with hedgehogs, you could also install a hedgehog hut.

Build a pond

If you have an area large enough, consider rewilding your garden with a water feature. A pond can provide habitat for a variety of amphibians and invertebrates. It’s also a source of water for small mammals and birds. You can create a pond with as little as a bucket and a few aquatic plants.

A frog in a pond with a butterfly on its head. Attracting such wildlife is a sign you're on the right path to rewilding your garden.
A pond can provide habitat for a variety of amphibians and invertebrates. Attracting such wildlife is a sign you're on the right path to rewilding your garden.

Think Sustainably When You Rewild Your Garden

To create a sustainable outdoor area, recycle where possible, collect rainwater to use in place of tap water, and ensure your compost is peat-free. If you can, consider making your own compost. Propagate your own plants by buying seed packets or taking cuttings to avoid buying unnecessary plastic pots. Consider the 'no-dig method' of gardening that relies on the natural processes taking place within undisturbed soil. Proponents claim that by avoiding disrupting the soil life, beneficial organisms and microbes are able to provide nutrients and moisture to the growing plants. Our actions can have an impact on the natural world beyond our garden. These tips are designed to help you not just minimise your negative impact on the planet, but make positive impact on the world's flora and fauna right in your back garden.

Wooden garden composter, a must when you rewild your garden.
Composting is an easy first step to rewilding your garden.
A large bug hotel built from used wooden pallets and old logs. An easy win when rewilding your garden.

I don’t like formal gardens, I like wild nature. It’s just the wilderness instinct in me, I guess.

Walt Disney

Sources & further reading

Peer Reviewed Research Section
  1. How to rewild your garden: ditch chemicals and decorate the concrete - The GuardianExternal link
  2. Bee friendly plants for every season - Friends of the EarthExternal linkIcon Peer Review
  3. Transforming London’s streets for wildlife - Rewild My StreetExternal linkIcon Peer Review
  4. How can people rewild where they live? - Rewilding BritainExternal linkIcon Peer Review

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