How to create a wildlife rock basking area

How to create a wildlife rock basking area

Encourage the youngsters in your family to get outside with this family-friendly project. It’s quick and easy to make and will provide shelter for cold-blooded amphibians, reptiles and insects, many of which need to soak up the sun to give them energy for the day. Build the feature in a sunny spot so the rocks will warm up in the sunlight.

Bees, hoverflies, butterflies and a host of other winged insects will be attracted to the basking point and the rock plants will provide them with nectar and pollen for an energy boost, too. The cracks and crevices that are formed between the stones and amongst the gravel will also provide a cosy place for beetles, spiders and other minibeasts to take up residence.

Encourage the youngsters in your family to get outside with this family-friendly project. It’s quick and easy to make and will provide shelter for cold-blooded amphibians, reptiles and insects, many of which need to soak up the sun to give them energy for the day. Build the feature in a sunny spot so the rocks will warm up in the sunlight.

Bees, hoverflies, butterflies and a host of other winged insects will be attracted to the basking point and the rock plants will provide them with nectar and pollen for an energy boost, too. The cracks and crevices that are formed between the stones and amongst the gravel will also provide a cosy place for beetles, spiders and other minibeasts to take up residence.

Advertisement

You Will Need

  • Old bricks
  • Gravel
  • Flat rockery stones
  • Nectar-rich plants
  • Spade
  • Trowel

Step 1

Dig out a shallow hole on the front edge of a border, with one end deeper than the other towards the back. Position the bricks in the bottom of the hole, sloping back to allow water to drain off. Ensure that the front edge of the bricks sits below the surrounding soil level.

Laying bricks on the ground
Laying bricks on the ground

Step 2

Add a layer of gravel or crushed stone to cover the bricks. Spread it out so that it is level and aim to make the layer roughly the depth of one stone. It will act as a spacer and create crevices for beetles and other minibeasts to shelter in.

Adding crushed gravel to the bricks
Adding crushed stone to the bricks

Step 3

Lay a couple of flat stones on top of the gravel, sloping up toward the border edge, to cover the bricks. Pack behind the stones with a mix of gravel and garden soil. Add another layer of gravel and flat stones, then fill around it with more gravel/soil mix.

Laying flat stones on top of the gravel
Laying flat stones on top of the gravel

Step 4

Plant around your mini rockery with your chosen plants. Keep the centre free of plants so that you maximise the
area available for basking. Add a couple of flat stones behind the layered rocks at the front and then dress around
everything with a mulch of gravel/crushed stone.

Planting up the basking area
Planting up the basking area
Advertisement

Encourage the youngsters in your family to get outside with this family-friendly project. It’s quick and easy to make and will provide shelter for cold-blooded amphibians, reptiles and insects, many of which need to soak up the sun to give them energy for the day. Build the feature in a sunny spot so the rocks will warm up in the sunlight.

Bees, hoverflies, butterflies and a host of other winged insects will be attracted to the basking point and the rock plants will provide them with nectar and pollen for an energy boost, too. The cracks and crevices that are formed between the stones and amongst the gravel will also provide a cosy place for beetles, spiders and other minibeasts to take up residence.

This is Secret Garden content

This content is exclusive to subscribers. If you are not a subscriber you can access this content by subscribing to Gardeners' World.

Unlock now