Plants for Mammals:
Mammals often use the plants and trees in your garden as a source of habitat and food.
Trees: trees often provide food and shelter to many animals. See our tree section to find out more about specific trees for specific wildlife. However, these are loved by many mammals:
- Oak. oak trees are a classic for UK gardens, providing habitat, food sources, and safety for many mammals. Squirrels and deer eat acorns (acorns can make up 25% of a deer’s Autumn diet!).
- Hazel. These trees produce nuts that are loved by squirrels and other small mammals.
- Beech. Bats love nesting in beech trees, as they find cavities in the trunk.
Hedges and shrubs: the dense foliage often provides shelter for many mammals, and many produce berries which are a food source for mammals.
- Blackberry (Rubus). Hedgehogs and small rodents use blackberry bushes for shelter and food.
- Hawthorn (Crataegus Monogyna). Bats such as common pipistrelles are often attracted to the insects that are drawn to hawthorn bushes.
- Elder (Sambucus). Mice and voles are enticed by the sheltered environment elder bushes offer, and they also may consume fallen berries or nearby insects.
Wildflowers and grasses: often grasses provide shelter and food sources by attracting other insects.
- Field scabious (Knautia Arvensis). This grass has flowers that attract insects, which therefore provide food for small mammals such as bats.
- Common Knapweed (Centaurea Nigra). This has nectar-rich flowers which attract pollinators, again providing a food source for mammals that feed on insects
- Tufted Hairgrass (Deschampsia Cespitosa). This grass and similar ones provide shelter and forage for grazers such as rabbits.
Berries and fruiting plants: many small mammals enjoy fruit and berries from plants as a food source, examples include:
- Raspberry (Rubus Idaeus). Raspberry canes produce berries that are enjoyed by hedgehogs and mice.
- Rowan (Sorbus Aucuparia). These trees have bright red berries which are a great food for squirrels and other mammals.