Bird boxes and wildlife houses – our pick of the best

These bug hotels, bird houses, hedgehog huts and more will provide local wildlife with welcome shelter in spring and summer, and a place to hibernate in winter.

Treat your feathered friends to a new home. Give a prickly pal a place to stay, or set friendly insects up with their very own AirBeeNBee. We have homes for nature’s great and small in our pick of the best wildlife houses.

Just remember, if you’re feeding the local wildlife, keep their feeders clean and disinfected. Don’t bring a feeder inside to be cleaned. Do it outdoors, with separate utensils.

Keep an eye on how much food your little friends are eating, too. If it takes a few days to go down, reduce the amount you’re offering. Otherwise, the leftovers could attract rats and other vermin.

Don’t paint or treat your little wildlife sanctuary either. The chemicals might cause harm to your furry or feathered friends.

Read more: 7 ways to make your garden wildlife friendly.

1. The Hedgehog Hideaway

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Our spiky little friends are under threat – in the last decade, their numbers have declined by 30 per cent. This cute house will provide a haven for any hog seeking shade from the sun. And come Autumn, it will make the perfect hide out for hibernation.
Buy Now: Hedgehog house, £45, Garden Trading

2. The Bug Hotel

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It can be hard for creepy crawlies to find shelter from a sudden shower or garden sprinkler. Give them somewhere safe to hang out courtesy of this ready-made bug haven. It’s full of little nooks and crannies, just perfect for bees, woodlice or ladybirds.
Buy Now: Bug hotel, £5, Flying Tiger

Bugs not your thing? Read: How to get rid of ants.

3. The Designer Bird House

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Avian visitors will be flocking to this beautiful ‘home tweet home’, in Orla Kiely’s famous Daisy print. It’s made from pine and plywood, and has a handy cleaning hatch to the side so you can easily clean it out between tenants.
Buy Now: Bird House, £33, Orla Kiely at John Lewis

4. The Bat Cave

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If you’d love to give a home to a caped crusader or two, this is an ideal shelter. Natural bat habitats are being destroyed across the UK, so providing somewhere for them to roost, raise their pups and sleep by day makes you a real superhero!
Buy Now: Wooden bat house, £9.86, Gardman range at Homebase

5. The Butterfly House

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This sustainable plywood and bamboo construction provides sanctuary for beautiful butterflies. Open up the back to add twigs and straw, which should encourage them to roost. It’s best to hang it close to flowering plants in a sheltered location, away from any strong wind. Don’t keep it completely out of the sun though – dappled sunlight is best if you want Red Admirals and Common Blues to flutter on over.
Buy Now: Dewdrop Butterfly and Insect Hotel, £18.99, Waitrose Garden

6. The Easy-Fill Feeder

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Less of a home, and more of a fast food joint for birds, this little gadget is going cheep (!) at Wilko. Pull off the top and fill it with peanuts or suet pellets, then unclip the hanging strap and attach it to the nearest tree. It’s been designed so it’s easy to pour in more food without having to detach the feeder again. The lip at the bottom catches dropped food and doubles as a perch.
Buy Now: Wild Bird Peanut/Suet Pellet Easy Feeder, £6, Wilko

Looking to spruce up your garden? Read: Pretty patio ideas for every garden space.

Once you’ve chosen your wildlife house, you might fancy hooking up an outdoor camera so you can keep an eye on it when you’re out and about. Or you could keep it old school and watch from a window. Just remember, if you do end up with tenants, try not to bother them too much. You could even make a tiny ‘do not disturb’ sign for their new home.

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