The Wildlife Friendly Garden

The aim of this garden is to show people how they can create a wildlife friendly garden, where a balance is struck between the interests of the human gardeners and the wildlife they share their garden with. The garden does not look like an untended wilderness where plants that are native thugs such as nettles and brambles struggle with each other to take over. It is a well designed space where its owners can sit and relax and enjoy watching the wildlife that specially provided features have attracted to the garden.

In its design:

  • It contains features attractive to wildlife such as the pond, and the log snake.
  • The planting is a mixture of native and cultivated plants chosen for their attractiveness to birds, butterflies, bees and humans.
  • It contains features that mimic in a small way habitats that are beneficial for wildlife and are under threat in the wider countryside, such as wild flower meadows, ponds and hedges.

In its construction:

  • It uses recycled materials in its construction wherever possible.
  • The wood used in the garden is from sustainability managed forests or recycled.
  • It uses locally produced woodland products such as woven willow hurdles, which are the products of woodlands managed in a way beneficial to wildlife.

In its maintenance:

  • It recycles its own waste by using compost bins.
  • It is gardened using organic principles.
  • Peat-free composts are used.

The Wildlife Friendly Garden was designed by Liza Lishman and Helen Senior and built by volunteers at Twigs from this original plan. Come along to a Twigs Open Day and see if you think we’ve realised the dream - it has even inspired poetry.

It was made possible by the following sponsors: 

  • The patio for the Wildlife Friendly Garden was built with grants from BT and Swindon Borough Council through the Local Agenda 21 grant scheme
  • The water feature was built with a grant from Tyco Electronics UK Ltd

The pictures below show the construction of the living willow arbour in the wildlife friendly garden. The arbour was originally constructed using the native osier (Salix viminalis) but this proved so vigorous that the it needed pruning at least twice a year. The arbour was then reconstructed using a less vigorous native species (Salix purpurea) as shown in the later pictures and is now proving a much less labour intensive feature.

Visitor Comments

A very beautiful place, very inspirational and the children loved exploring and playing on the fitness equipment