Gardens can have a huge impact on house prices, with 92 percent of house-hunters in a 2021 Homebuyer Wish List report citing it as the most important feature of a home.
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However, there are a few changes you can make within your outdoor space that could make your home even more attractive to prospective buyers – and they don't require much effort or expense.
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According to experts, creating ways to introduce wildlife into your garden could add up to £27,000 to the value of the average UK home, and it could be as simple as planting bee-friendly flowers or creating a wildflower lawn.
Fiona Jenkins, gardening expert at MyJobQuote, explains: "A well-designed wildlife garden could add between 5% and 20% to your house value, depending on its size and your location."
Fancy giving it a try? To help those looking to boost their home’s value and attract potential buyers, Sean McMenemy – garden wildlife expert and director of Ark Wildlife – has put together his top tips for wildlife gardening along with insight from property experts and estate agents.
Adding wildflowers to your garden could increase its value
3 top tips for wildlife gardening to add value to your home
Appeal to people's aspirations
Jonathan Rolande, founding member of The National Association of Property Buyers and director of House Buy Fast, says: "When people walk into a house, pleasant smells can help them imagine themselves living there. A wildlife-friendly garden, full of fragrant flowers, can really contribute to this, potentially helping you sell the house quickly and for more.
"People also buy into a certain kind of lifestyle when they view a property – and many visualise themselves looking after a nice garden. Subconsciously, they'll then prefer the property and may pay a bit more for it."
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Sean McMenemy advises planting bee-friendly flowers to help achieve this:
"In recent years, the importance of bees as pollinators has been widely recognised and conservation efforts are underway. You can play your part by planting flowers like geraniums, lavender and open dahlias, or herbs such as marjoram, sage and chives. Then your garden will look and smell great, and you’ll be helping bees to spread flowers and fruit around the neighbourhood."
Growing herbs could also be a good addition to your garden
Take a step back from maintenance
Nick Lewis-Smith, director at Michael Anthony estate agents, says: "Even the smallest garden or outdoor space is more likely to add value to a home if it's lush and somewhere that looks natural enough to attract wildlife. And although gardens need maintenance, gardening to welcome wildlife means adopting a lighter touch with that maintenance."
Sean McMenemy says: "More grass means more habitats for all kinds of animals. You can achieve a beautiful look with a mix of grasses and wildflowers, helped along by using wildflower seed balls. Just remember to plan it carefully, so it looks designed, rather than neglected."
MORE: This home improvement could add £22k to the value of your property
Seed balls for bees, £8.99, Amazon
Strike a balance
George Clover, Partner at Helmores Estate Agents, says: "Most people like wildlife and in smaller gardens they could be adding a pond or big bug hotel or planting specific plants and flowers to attract insects and birds. This means that gardens can be beautiful and usable but still attract wildlife for pleasure and the good of the ecosystems we share.
"A well-designed garden that incorporates all the elements for enjoyment and wildlife could add up to 10% on the average UK property over a bare garden. That said, a wildlife garden could be completely left to nature, which is great for wildlife but not appealing to a lot of buyers."
A bird bath is an easy way to introduce wildlife to your garden
Sean McMenemy recommends water features as a fantastic way to strike this balance: "Sources of water provide habitats for frogs, newts, dragonflies and, of course, visiting birds in need of a bath. The best position for a water feature is somewhere that enjoys plenty of sunlight. You can attract more wildlife to it by placing plants, flowers and logs around it, which will also improve the look for homebuyers.
"I'd go for bird baths over ponds when considering adding house value, depending on your property type, as ponds could steer away families with young children in need of a safe garden space."
Kingfisher resin traditional bird bath, £15.48, Amazon
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