Putting mealworms on a bird table

Garden wildlife jobs for May

Get advice on which wildlife gardening jobs you can be getting on with around the garden in May.

In May, the garden bursts into the life, and so does your garden wildlife. Birds are busy feeding their young, while pollinators such as bumblebees, butterflies and hoverflies will be emerging from hibernation or will have flown here from Europe and Africa. Most will need nectar and pollen to feed their young.

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Discover how to make your garden bee-friendly in spring.

Here some key garden wildlife jobs for May.

In May, the garden bursts into the life, and so does your garden wildlife.

Avoid disturbing nesting birds. Check hedges before trimming and use hand tools instead of power tools until the end of the breeding season. Ideally, avoid trimming hedges until September.

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Put out live mealworms for blackbirds and robins. Nesting birds such as blue tits may take them for their young if caterpillars are scarce.

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Leave mini piles of stones or twigs in borders, or create a dead wood habitat, to provide shelter for small invertebrates such as centipedes and ground beetles. They’ll shelter there by day and will then be on hand to devour slugs and other garden pests at night.

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Plant nectar- and pollen-rich herbs such as borage, chives, lavender, rosemary and oregano in a sunny spot to attract pollinators.

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Leave a few weeds such as dandelions to provide food for wildlife. Some species lay eggs on leaves, while others feed on nectar and pollen.

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Give your pond a makeover by adding plants such as hornwort, brooklime and water forget-me-not. These help shelter aquatic insects and larvae such as frog and toad tadpoles and newt efts, dragonfly and damselfly larvae and diving beetles.