Wildlife homes do not attract animals

Gardeners have been warned that buying wildlife homes is unlikely to lead to their back yard becoming a sanctuary for animals.

Which? Gardening looked into the shop-bought homes for animals market and concluded that products offer little value for money.

Specific examples include the Gardman Butterfly Haven, which can be bought for £14.99.

The haven was tested in ten gardens over the course of a year, mainly in the Sheffield area, and not a single butterfly was seen to use any of the structures.

"Gardens are extremely important to wildlife, and many gardeners enjoy observing the many creatures that visit them over the year," Which? Gardening editor Ceri Thomas commented.

"But there are many other ways to attract wildlife in to your garden, and people shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that these attractive shop-bought abodes are worth the price tags they come with."

As an alternative, Which? Gardening advocated the building of a log pile to attract insects and hedgehogs, and a compost heap to provide food for birds, hedgehogs and toads.

Earlier this year, the magazine suggested that Britons who grow fruit and vegetables in the garden and greenhouse could be paying over the odds for their carrot seeds.