As most gardeners know, attracting wildlife to your vegetable and fruit plot is hardly a struggle. "Woodpigeons will eat your thoughtfully provided pea shoots," says John Lewis-Stempel in The Wildlife Garden, "every slug and snail for a three kilometre radius will munch your strawberries, and all the cabbage white caterpillars on earth will nibble your brassicas." John's humour and experience is evident throughout his book, particularly in the helpful section guiding gardeners in striking the balance "between feeding yourself and feeding garden creatures."
"• Give up the evil weed-killer, along with chemical pesticides.These inorganic chemical concoctions upset the natural balance and tend not to discriminate between pests and predators. In the fruit and vegetable garden the ideal is to encourage beneficial predators and let them do the pest-control for you. Think toads, song thrushes, hedgehogs, grass snakes, bats and beneficial insects like ladybirds. Predators need a home in the fruit and veg garden. Try making a bug hotel for ladybirds, a log pile for the common frog and a bat box for a pipistrelle.