Wildlife-friendly gardens ‘increase house prices’

Everyone understands a great garden can make a home more attractive, but did you know a wildlife-friendly garden is very much desirable?

A recent survey from Rightmove and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) found seven out of ten people would consider paying more if the house came with a garden which encouraged local creatures.

When asked if they would pay more for a house with such a garden, 14 per cent gave a straight answer of yes, with another 14 per cent saying they probably would and 39 per cent sticking with maybe. This still means over half value a home more if it comes with the right patch of greenery.

The main reason for this, as if green-fingered individuals need an excuse to get their hands dirty, is the fact seeing wildlife makes people happy, as stated by 93 per cent of the study.

RSPB's campaign manager Sarah Houghton said: "Nature in the UK is in trouble and some of our more familiar garden species are amongst those suffering serious declines. Gardens provide a valuable lifeline for things like starlings, toads, hedgehogs and butterflies, so we want to persuade people to give nature a home where they live – it could really help make a difference."

So, how can you achieve this? Birds are always easy to coerce into your garden, as a few peanut feeders, an occasional nest box and a watering bath are all they need. This will add the gentle ambience of chirps to any backyard, while the added seeds will be useful in the upcoming winter when food is more scarce.

Likewise, small mammals and other critters can be encouraged with low shrubbery and undergrowth. If you want to draw in amphibians, such as frogs, toads and newts, a pond is a must. This should also have shallow areas with slopes to provide access in and out.

Finally, insects are always happy to find a new home if you plant a variety of wild flower types, as bees, butterflies and other nectar-hungry species can make the most of these, while helping to pollinate the garden in the spring.

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