Best gifts for wildlife gardeners | BBC Wildlife Magazine

Best gifts for wildlife gardeners | BBC Wildlife Magazine

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Whether they prefer birds, insects or amphibians, there’s plenty of gifts out there to buy gardeners, from nest boxes to bee hotels and wildlife gardening books. We’ve reviewed different wildlife products, but make sure you also check out our guide to garden bird feed.

Fancy doing some wildlife gardening yourself? Our wildlife gardening page has loads of how-to guides, advice on the best plants, and which species you might find – plus, a link to download a free wildlife gardening digital magazine from our app.


Apex Classic Wild Garden Bird Box

RSPB Apex Classic

This nest box is suitable for a wide range of garden bird species, including coal tit, blue tit, great tit and house sparrow. It has a 32mm entry hole, which can be reduced to 25mm in size with a nest box plate (sold separately), should you wish to exclude larger species.

It’s made in the UK with FSC-certified wood that does not need preservatives added, and is well insulated to protect the eggs and chicks. There are drainage holes and it can be easily opened for cleaning over winter.

The green of the painted roof is stylish, and the nest box will make a great addition to any garden.

Reviewed by Megan Shersby, editorial and digital co-ordinator, BBC Wildlife

Interactive bee hive

Solitary bee hive

Help your local solitary bees and provide a home for them to nest. Made from FSC-certified wood, this bee hotel has a roof section that opens up onto a clear tray, in order to see inside, as well as stacking trays to help with inspection and cleaning in autumn and winter. This bee hotel is suitable for red mason bees and leafcutter bees, both species are non-swarming and safe around children and pets, and are naturally attracted to the holes.

It’s best to place this in a sunny position facing south to the south-east, between ground level and 1.5 metres in height. If you’re worried about predation by birds, you can added mesh onto the front.

Reviewed by Megan Shersby, editorial and digital co-ordinator, BBC Wildlife

Pond liner kit

Pond liner plastic level

It’s well known that making a pond is one of the best things you can do for wildlife, and winter is the ideal time as it will become established that much quicker come spring. You could buy the materials separately from a garden centre or online retailer, but the RSPB Pond Liner Kits make the job super easy – and your money will be going to a very good cause to boot.

Available in three sizes (2×2, 3×3 and 4x3m), each kit contains a durable liner, recycled fleece underlay and – very handily – an expert guide to creating your pond. It’s time to get digging!

Reviewed by Catherine Smalley, production editor, BBC Wildlife

How to attract birds to your garden

By Dan Rouse. Published by DK.

How to attract birds to your garden cover

If I’d had access to this book when I last moved house and re-worked the garden, I reckon I’d now be attracting most of the birds on the British list! Okay, I may be exaggerating – but you’d be hard pressed to find a more useful, readable and attractive guide to creating a thriving domestic ecosystem than this one.

Dan’s book addresses every aspect of nurturing a wildlife garden – not only for birds but invertebrates and small mammals, too. Take the section on plants for moths. I already provide for my birds, butterflies and bees, but I’d never thought about that sort of specialism – my local nursery should expect a visit soon.

Chapters cover food, water, shelter, why and what to choose; caring for the health of the garden and its visitors; bird species and behaviour; and dealing with problems. Each section builds on the one before to give you irresistible reasons to transform your space.

Reviewed by Sheena Harvey, nature writer and former editor, BBC Wildlife

Read extracts from Dan’s book on how to make a garden bird nestbox and how to make a small pond for wildlife.


Main image: Gardener laying in wheelbarrow in garden. © Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd/Getty