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Insect-friendly garden dos and dont's

Everyone can do something to encourage insects into their garden. Not all of the suggestions given below will be possible in every garden; some are clearly only feasible if you have a larger plot. However, many of these suggestions will be possible, even with the tiniest of gardens. Appropriate food plants in containers will help attract insects into the garden and small piles of broken pots can help provide shelter.

If you have a garden that is large enough for you to have a small patch of "waste ground", allow native wild plants to grow. Nettles in your garden will support a number of butterfly and moth species, but should be in full sun to attract butterflies.

Allow a section of your lawn to grow into a small meadow. Even a very small section can be effective. Different grass species interspersed with wild flowers such as ox-eye daisies can look beautiful and will attract more insects into the garden. If you buy wild plants or seeds, do make sure that they originate from the UK.

Try to have some form of hedgerow made from native plants such as hawthorn or hazel under-planted with woodland plants such as the bluebell Endymion nonscriptus and wood anemone Anemone nemerosa.

Make small piles from broken crocks and stones to provide shelter for ground beetles and other nocturnal insects.