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Nurturing Norfolk’s Biodiversity: A Guide to Wildlife-Friendly Garden Planting


Norfolk, England, with its rich tapestry of landscapes, is a treasure trove of biodiversity. As urbanization continues, the role of individual gardens in supporting local wildlife becomes increasingly vital. In this article, we’ll delve into the significance of biodiversity in Norfolk and explore garden planting options specifically tailored to encourage wildlife, with a focus on choosing trees suitable for medium-sized gardens.

The Importance of Biodiversity in Norfolk

Norfolk’s diverse ecosystems, from coastal marshes to ancient woodlands, harbor a wealth of flora and fauna. However, the encroachment of urban areas poses a threat to these habitats, emphasizing the need for private gardens to become sanctuaries for local wildlife. Biodiversity not only sustains ecosystems but also enhances the beauty of our surroundings.

Wildlife-Friendly Garden Planting

Creating a garden that supports Norfolk’s biodiversity involves strategic planting choices. Here are some recommendations:

1. Native Plants

  • Norfolk hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna): A versatile shrub that provides food and shelter for various wildlife.
  • Common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea): Known for its vibrant red stems in winter, attracting birds and insects.
  • Meadow cranesbill (Geranium pratense): A perennial with attractive flowers that supports pollinators.

2. Wildflower Meadows

  • Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare): A classic wildflower that attracts bees and butterflies.
  • Red clover (Trifolium pratense): Adds nitrogen to the soil and provides nectar for pollinators.

3. Hedgerows and Borders

  • Hawthorn (Crataegus): Ideal for hedgerows, offering dense foliage for nesting birds.
  • Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa): Supports a variety of insects and provides foraging opportunities for birds.
  • Hazel (Corylus avellana): A versatile shrub that attracts small mammals and birds.

4. Water Features

  • Water forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides): Thrives at water’s edge, attracting bees and butterflies.
  • Water mint (Mentha aquatica): Ideal for ponds, providing shelter for aquatic insects.

Choosing Trees for a Medium-Sized Garden

For medium-sized gardens, it’s crucial to select trees that provide habitats without overwhelming the space:

1. Silver Birch (Betula pendula)

  •    Elegant and suitable for medium-sized gardens, supporting a variety of insects and birds.

2. Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)

  •    Compact and attractive, with berries that attract birds. Ideal for smaller spaces.

3. Wild Cherry (Prunus avium)

  •   Fragrant blossoms and bird-friendly fruit make it a great addition to medium-sized gardens.

4. Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris)

  •   Beautiful blossoms and small fruit that attract birds and insects. Can be pruned to maintain size.

Projects for Improving Biodiversity in your Garden

Build a bug hotel:

KDX3F5 Jurys Inn Manchester launch there Bee Hotel to encourage wildlife. Pictured the bee hotel in place along the canal side at Jurys Inn in Manchester. Credit : Mark Waugh / Alamy Stock Photo

Make a hedgehog house:

B60GC1 Hedgehog erinaceus europaeus foraging for food in autumn woodland setting UK – Credit: Gary K Smith / Alamy Stock Photo

How to attract frogs:

Nectar for bees:

How are bees important and why should we support them:


Creating a wildlife-friendly garden in Norfolk is not just an environmental contribution but also a rewarding experience for gardeners. By carefully selecting native plants, incorporating wildflower meadows, and choosing appropriately sized trees, your medium-sized garden can become a haven for Norfolk’s diverse wildlife. Embrace the beauty of nature, and let your garden be a sanctuary that fosters biodiversity for generations to come.