RSPB Scotland Loch of Strathbeg's Wildlife Garden (Photo: Sarah Bedford)

Summer is in full swing in Loch of Strathbeg's Wildlife Garden. This oasis, just outside the Visitor Centre, is a haven for birds, bees and butterflies. Planted up over many years, our well-established wildlife garden is a real joy to wander around, especially when the sun shines as it seems to have been doing regularly in these past few weeks.

There are all colours, textures, shapes and sizes of flower and plant to see and enjoy; from simple oxeye daisies, to luxurious honeysuckle.


Oxeye Daisy (Photo: Sarah Bedford)            

Honeysuckle (Photo: Sarah Bedford)

Our thriving honeysuckle was recently given a serious haircut and a trellis was erected behind it (by a team of volunteers), to try and encourage it to grow vertically rather than horizontally. It hasn’t stopped it from flowering beautifully this summer, and it smells wonderful. Honeysuckle, along with ivy, sedum and jasmine are all great plants to attract moths too.

We plant as many species as we can to ensure diversity and choice for the birds, insects and mammals we are trying to attract. You don’t have to be super-green fingered to have a go yourself; you can give wildlife a home in your own garden. If you would like to know more about making your own garden a haven for wildlife, visit

Bumblebee on a buddleia (Photo: Sarah Bedford)

Many of our bee species (bumblebees and solitary bees) are declining globally. We can really help them by providing nectar-rich plants in our gardens, such as this buddleia – butterflies love it too!

We are even growing raspberries in our wildlife garden. Without trying too hard, these juicy berries have appeared and it’s only a matter of time before the birds find them and have a feast! Fruits and vegetables are often good to plant, even in a small space. Not only do the flowers attract bees and butterflies, but you get something delicious out of it too.

Juicy wild raspberries (Photo: Sarah Bedford)

The wildlife garden is open every day - come and visit us at the reserve while the summer colours are in full bloom. If you would like to do more than just visit, perhaps consider volunteering with us. We are always looking for volunteers to help maintain the garden and keep it looking at its very best.

Tansy (Photo: Sarah Bedford)

If you have some spare time – as little as a couple of hours per week - and would like to join us, please contact the reserve on 01346 532017 or email

Sarah Bedford, Intern, North East Scotland Reserves