Sustainable Wildlife Gardening - Spring

Ref: C3677242

Due to face to face teaching being suspended unfortunately this course is not currently available for enrolment.

We are launching a range of online courses shortly that may be of interest to you so sign up here to hear more.

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This course explores the garden ecosystem and how to take inspiration from nature and apply it in our own gardens. We will look at different plant forms, and how they can provide both food and shelter for wildlife, and flower types, as seen from an insects point of view. Themes include: 'right plant, right place', providing 'year-round flowering' for pollinators and identifying wildflowers. Skills you will learn include: surveying the on-site garden: sustainable vegetable growing; and managing soil for biodiversity. This will be delivered alongside practical gardening sessions covering: building raised beds, creating a bug habitat and establishing a meadow. All with no chemicals and by using resources wisely. The course provides a basic foundation in both practical gardening skills and plant theory, preparing students for progression opportunities including the WEA course 'Gardening for Pleasure' or college courses in Horticulture and Landscape Maintenance.

Course aim

Want to attract more wildlife into your garden? Whether a novice or a keen gardener, this course will show you how to combine sustainable design principles with plant knowledge to create biodiverse habitats that support a variety of wildlife.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand the role gardening plays within a broader ecological and social context.
  • Know how to take inspiration from nature to create varied and sustainable habitats that support a broad range of wildlife.
  • Think about plants in a functional, rather than just an aesthetic, way by drawing up 'planting palettes' that can be applied in most garden settings.
  • Establish a meadow, make a raised bed and build a bug habitat.
  • Apply the practical survey skills that are the foundation for growing plants successfully.

How will I be taught?

  • Most of your learning will take place in your class, but one or two sessions will be online using WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas, working by yourself or engaging with other students. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress

What else do I need to know?

  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • All materials will be provided
  • From the second session onwards much of this course is taught outdoors. Please dress appropriately for the weather as we will work outside in all but the worst conditions. Please wear shoes suitable for muddy conditions. If you prefer to wear gardening gloves then please bring them with you.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

Sustainable Wildlife Gardening - Spring

Is this course right for me? Request more information

Due to face to face teaching being suspended unfortunately this course is not currently available for enrolment.

We are launching a range of online courses shortly that may be of interest to you so sign up here to hear more.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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