Wildlife on the Allotment

We often think of 'wildlife' as a negative when it comes to growing our own food on the allotment, slugs and snails and other pests spring to mind, that we try to deter as much as possible.  

However, there is much we can do to promote our eco-systems and encourage 'good' wildlife. There are many positives, which include pollination, natural pest and disease control and increased productivity. 

There are some simple ways we can encourage and support wildlife at our allotment plots. 

We can swap the use of chemicals for natural remedies such as Companion planting. We discuss how the balance of nature and its benefits can enrich your productivity on our Companion Planting page

We can build habitats for insects and wildlife; insect hotels, hedgehog homes, worm farms and more. 

The installation of bird boxes and feeders. 

A pond.  

Planting nectar-rich flowers throughout the season to attract pollinators and beneficial insects.  

The Allotment site collectively, should manage hedges and grassy areas mindfully so not to disturb nesting wildlife that will help you throughout your growing season as well as the eco-system overall. 

Insects that are great for pollination are bees, butterflies, hoverflies, moths, beetles and believe it or not, wasps! 

To plant nectar-rich flowers around your allotment. Do this in groups and select a variety of flowering plants that will bloom early, mid and late season as well as night time scented flowers. Herbs will work well also.  

Other beneficial insects that eat pests and larvae are ladybirds, beetles, dragonflies and centipedes as well as the pollinators. Therefore, doing what we can to attract them to our plots will help with the workload! 

Birds will also work well in a vegetable garden, eating insects, helping with pollination and weed control as well as rodent control. Some breeds can cause an issue with your crops, however, with protective netting and measurements in place, the birds will bring benefits that outweigh the bad by largely eating predators that cause more damage. 

Having a pond is an excellent source and breeding ground for beneficial insects and wildlife like frogs, toads and newts. It is also a water supply and helps regulate the temperatures around it and also reflects sunshine; all resulting in increased productivity. 

Some nectar-rich flowers and plants that insects love include Alliums, Buddleias, Lavender, Geraniums, Herbs such as Sage and Oregano, heathers and many more. Try to aim for a mix of early to late blooming varieties to keep your allotment 'buzzing' all year round. 

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