Most garden wildlife is busy in April. Many bumblebees and birds will be establishing nests and plenty of other species, such as moths, leafminers and other insects, are already breeding. Hedgehogs, which typically emerge from hibernation in March, will be fattening up to be in good condition for breeding in May. Most frogs and toads will have left ponds after breeding, in search of damp shelter such as beneath a log or brick pile.
There’s plenty of ways to attract wildlife to your garden, whatever its size. Try growing your own bird food, supporting aquatic life by digging a pond, or growing plants for bees.
More on wildlife gardening:
Support your garden wildlife with our April wildlife jobs.
Leave caterpillars for birds
A caterpillar beneath a leaf
Avoid removing caterpillars from plants if you can – these are an essential food source for nesting birds such as blue tits and great tits, which feed caterpillars to their young. Also, don’t forget to keep bird feeders topped up this month.
Empty your compost bin
Taking compost from a compost bin with a spade
Empty your compost bin now, as any wildlife that may have been hibernating should have emerged, now. However, check the bin carefully before emptying and avoid plunging your fork into the heap in case any frogs or hedgehogs are sheltering there.
Sow cornfield annuals
A variety of meadow flowers and grasses
Fill gaps in borders by scattering seeds of cornfield annuals such as field poppy, corn cockle and cornflower. These will flower quickly for an instant hit of colour, while increasing the availability of pollen and nectar for pollinators.
A hedgehog eating from a dish on a garden lawn
Continue to leave out water and meat-based dog or cat food (ideally chicken flavour) for hedgehogs. This will help them fatten up to be in peak condition for breeding next month. Find out how to attract hedgehogs to your garden.
Make a bee hotel
A bee hotel on a post
Make a bee hotel for solitary bees such as mason bees. Solitary bees lay individual eggs in cells made in wood cavities and old, hollow plant stems. Find out how to make a bee hotel.