In order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our wildlife, there's a selection of habitats and boxes you can purchase, designed to attract various animals, birds and insects.
The Wildlife World Hedgehog and Mammal House is a shelter for our spiny friends who do such a good job hoovering up unwanted snails. There's a 'breathable' interior so, unlike in my house, there's no condensation problems. The large inspection hatch means easy cleaning and it's raised off the ground to prevent rotting. It's predator resistant and has as a safe feeding 'lounge'.
The same company's Hedgehog House is made from acacia for good insulation. A 12ins tunnel leads to the house that has a waterproof sea grass roof, hinged for looking inside and cleaning.
And they have a third house for hedgehogs and small mammals that's insulated, weatherproofed and with a raised floor. Again there's a hinged door for inspection and cleaning purposes.
Frogs and toads are also garden friends to be encouraged. The Wildlife World Frog and Toad House is an overwintering location and safe retreat. It's constructed from various woods, one chamber is a cool sanctuary open to the soil, the other has a timber floor with separate access and provides drier accommodation.
Bats are not everyone's cup of tea but they are fascinating animals and you can encourage them with a study oak Bat Box. There's an access ladder and hinged front door providing access.
Insects will be delighted with their choice of accommodation. They can check into the Butterfly and Moth Habitat that Small Tortoiseshells, Commas and Peacocks will find safe when overwintering. Thoughtfully it has a sponge that can be charged with sugar water, for feeding, or a butterfly attractant to gain their attention.
Ladybirds and Lacewings, who find aphids an irresistible meal, can be encouraged by the Ladybird Log where they can overwinter or retreat to in the summer. There's also the Ladybird and Insect Tower, both this and the Log have central chambers that can be filled with straw or bark to provide insulation and safety.
The Beneficial Insect Box and Bug Box 2000 have various sized tubes to provide homes for Mason and Leafcutter bees who are excellent pollinators and other garden good guys. Both should be hung in a sheltered position in the garden or on a wall.
Non-swarming bees, who increasingly find it difficult to settle down in our tidy gardens, will also love to move into the Solitary Bee Hive.