All wildlife advice

From creating a pond, to building a wormery, see RHS expert advice on encouraging wildlife

A - Z guide

Search our A- Z directory of garden fauna, from beneficial insects to irksome pests.

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  • Frogs in a garden pond. Credit: Paul Bullivant/RHS The Garden.

    Amphibians: encouraging into your garden

    Amphibians, frogs, toads and newts, can be beneficial garden creatures which will predate on a wide range of invertebrates. They can be encouraged by providing a pond where tadpoles can develop. At least one side of the pool should gradually slope up to dry land. Adult frogs and toads can be encouraged by providing log piles and other damp habitats in which they can shelter.

  • Pipistrellus

    Bats: encouraging into your garden

    Bats are active at night and so often go unseen. They are predators of insects, some of which are garden pests or nuisance insects, such as mosquitoes. Bat numbers have declined over the last 50 years and so they will benefit from steps taken to make gardens more bat-friendly. Bats are also recognised biodiversity indicators and their presence is an indication of a healthy, insect-rich environment.

  • Bees on eryngium.

    Bees: encouraging into your garden

    Bees visit flowers to collect nectar and pollen, which they use as food for themselves and the larvae in their hives or nests. By moving from flower to flower, they are vital pollinators of many garden and wild flowers. Insect pollination is essential for the cropping of most fruits and some vegetables.

  • A bird feeder. Credit: RHS/Tim Sandall.

    Birds: encouraging into the garden

    Garden birds benefit  from feeding all year round but winter is a particularly valuable time to provide additional food. However, don't forget to provide water for drinking and bathing as well. Approximately 30 species of bird are regular garden visitors, although more than 140 bird species have been recorded in British gardens.

  • Peacock butterfly on buddleja

    Butterflies: encouraging into your garden

    Butterflies are attractive insects and they give added interest to gardens when they visit flowers to feed on nectar. A few species have caterpillars that are garden pests, but most do not cause any damage in gardens.

  • ©RHS SCN0006041

    Centipedes

    Centipedes are predatory animals belonging to the class Chilopoda. They can provide some benefit in gardens as some of the invertebrates they consume will be those that can damage garden plants.

  • Earthworm (Allolobophora sp.) casts on a lawn. Credit: RHS/Entomology.

    Earthworms

    Britain has about 16 species of earthworms that are likely to be found in gardens. They vary in size and colour, but all have a role to play in creating good soil structure and fertility.

  • ©RHS SCN0004889

    Elephant hawk moth

    The large caterpillars of this attractive moth are regularly found in gardens in late summer.

  • Frogs seem to be attracted to light. Credit: RHS.

    Garden lighting: effects on wildlife

    Used sparingly, lights in the garden can enhance its night-time charms, but what about the effects on wildlife?

  • ©RHS WSYD0009741

    How gardeners can help our declining bees and other pollinators

    Gardens are known to support good numbers and a wide range of pollinators, but worryingly bees and other pollinators are considered to be in decline. Gardeners can make a difference to help reverse this trend.

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