The Ventilator

Incorporating The Ranger's Blog

Notes from a Wildlife Garden

Designer Homes? Wildlife says no

By Ruth D’Alessandro, The Wildlife Gardener The Wildlife Gardener is not keen on gimmicks. Purchases should have longevity, no frills, be fit for purpose and do what they say on the tin before the moth-filled WG purse is pulled out. In the case of wildlife products, my first consideration is: can the animal make it for itself better and cheaper? Secondly: can the item be home-made, ideally from recycled materials? Thirdly, if I have to pay money for it, it had better be darned good. So I was interested when The Ranger recently sent me a report from Which? Gardening stating’Animal friendly gardeners may be wasting money on ineffective garden products designed to attract provide homes for wildlife’. Which? Gardening conducted a year-long trial of six wildlife homes in ten gardens, mostly in and around Sheffield, with a wildlife expert inspecting them regularly until August 2010.

Lacewing hotel

They tested the Gardman Butterfly Haven at

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2 thoughts on “Designer Homes? Wildlife says no

  • Jenny Steel

    Apart from bird boxes and bee nest homes, none of these things work. I have tried out many over the last 20 years for a range of companies and have always come to the same conclusion – not worth the trouble and sometimes positively annoying for being so useless.
    Log piles, undisturbed long grass, hedge bottoms and borders in the winter, compost heaps and homemade refuges of various types all work much better.

  • Great article! My experience has been the cruder the better when it comes to successful wildlife attractants like bird houses, bat dens, bird feeders, and the like. Use unpreserved wood, materials from the forest. I rub dirt on the insides of items like bird boxes. For some reason it makes the birdies feel right at home.


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