Towns and gardens

Urban flowers

©Paul Hobson

Gardening with wildlife, snail on gardening gloves with pot plants behind

Tom Marshall

Towns and gardens

The green spaces of our towns and gardens bring nature into our daily lives, brightening our mornings with birdsong and the busy buzzing of bees. Together, the UK's gardens are larger than all of our National Nature Reserves combined, making them as important for wildlife as they are for our own wellbeing.

From parkland to window boxes, wildlife thrives in gardens

These green spaces are a lifeline for wildlife, little havens scattered through the desert of urban sprawl and intensively managed farmland. Trees and shrubs shelter miniature mammals and nesting birds, whilst feeders offer a reliable food source no matter how wild the weather is. Even a single window-ledge plant pot can make a difference, providing pollen and nectar for insects straying into the concrete jungle. 

Larger parks and gardens can become a wild paradise, home to creatures you would never expect to find so close to home: grass snakes slithering through the undergrowth, foxes frolicking on lawns, and even owls peering out from the gnarled trunks of old trees.

A bit of peace and quiet

Parks and gardens are as good for us as they are for wildlife. They provide a place where we can relax, breathe in the fresh air and remind ourselves of the beauty of the wild world around us. For people living in the heart of urban areas, they offer an escape into nature that would otherwise be out of reach.

Spending time connecting with nature is proven to reduce stress and improve both our mental and physical health, and the green oases of our parks and gardens offer the perfect opportunity to do this.


Numbers of house sparrows, song thrushes, dunnocks and starlings have all declined in the countryside, and are now considered endangered. But you can help them, by providing food and places for them to breed in your garden.


Many mammals that would have once lived in the countryside, have learnt to adapt to our towns and gardens; keep a look out for hedgehogsfoxes and house mice. There are lots of ways you can help mammals in your back garden by creating habitat and food sources

Species you might see

Our towns and gardens are full of wildlife. Take a look at our ID pages to work out what you might have spotted!

blue tit

Bob Coyle

Our gardens are vital for wildlife

The UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together.

Wildlife-friendly gardening

As a charity we rely on memberships

They help us look after over 2,300 nature reserves and protect the animals that call them home.

Become a member