How to create a more wildlife-friendly garden

Edition: Winter 2022

Wilder Horsham District is a five-year partnership between the Council and Sussex Wildlife Trust, working to deliver a Nature Recovery Network for our District.

Whilst the main focus of the Wilder Horsham District project is to work with community groups and landowners, you as individuals are just as key and valuable to helping to develop a Nature Recovery Network. We wanted to share with you a recent communication we had with Piers, a local Horsham resident, who got in touch asking for ideas on how to create a more wildlife-friendly garden.

Piers creates new habitats

Piers filled in previously abandoned borders with wildflower seeds which have now blossomed into life, providing a great nectar source for pollinating insects and a gorgeous display to admire.

Three raised beds for fruit and vegetables have also been added, and another new habitat – a pond:  It has been dug to a maximum depth of 35cm, with two shelves at 12cm and 20cm to create a variety of habitats, plus a shallow section with pebble stones to provide access to drinking water for bees and other insects.

To help provide a home for any invertebrates, spiders, and mini beasts passing through, or newts from the pond, Piers has also introduced stones and small logs for even more habitat variety.

Piers not only transformed his front garden but his previously bare side garden too, planting more plants to provide a haven for insects.

Working towards a better ecological network

The Wilder Horsham District project follows the Lawton Principles, a set of principles detailing how best to create a “coherent and resilient ecological network”. So as a project, we are trying to make areas for nature recovery ‘bigger, better, and more joined up’.

Butterfly photo

As an individual, it can be easy to feel like you can’t make a difference but, as Piers proves, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The spaces around our houses or in our gardens may seem small, but if they can provide valuable habitat, they play a major role in helping to achieve the ‘more joined up’ areas for wildlife that are so vital for nature recovery.

This is especially true when we live in urban or built up areas, where corridors and safe spaces for wildlife are needed more than ever.

Piers would be delighted to be put in touch with anyone to have a chat or trade tips. If you would like to be put in touch, please do contact us at

Top tips for a more wildlife friendly garden

  1. Create a wildlife pond – arguably the single best thing you can do for wildlife in your garden.
  2. Create a wildflower meadow – insects, especially pollinators, are in decline and this can really help.
  3. Use native plants – generally native plants are better for wildlife.
  4. Don’t be too tidy – nature likes it when things are a bit messy! Leave some of your lawn unmown and some piles of rubble or wood around which is particularly good for wildlife.

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