Skip to content

Bring the bush to your backyard!

Published 30 Sep 2022 by Bee Stephens

Our Native Neighbours tram’s time is almost up on the tracks. It’s had a fabulous season out and about, encouraging more city folk to build attractive habitats for native species in urban backyards. But our colourful commuter needs a little rest from cruising Melbourne’s CBD, and is about to enter a hibernation period. Sleep tight tram!  

That doesn’t mean its message can’t live on, and with sunnier days on the horizon there couldn’t be a better time to get stuck into your garden to support the lives of native animals and plants that also inhabit our cities.  

We’ve workshopped a number of garden guides to offer our bugs, butterflies, mammals, birds, lizards, frogs, plants and pond-preferring animals luxury stays while they’re in town. Have a geeze at the guides below and if one or all of them take your fancy, spend the weekend turning your nature patch (balcony or backyard) into a thriving ecological hub:  

Plant a pollinator patch

Support our pollinators and they’ll support you! Get bugs and butterflies into your garden and they’ll help the native plants in your garden to thrive (plus the plants in your neighbours’ yard). Our  guide to supporting bugs and butterflies will also teach you about decomposers and parasites.  

Create a glider grove

Did you know Australia is home to over 350 native mammal species? And many live in our urban spaces. Learn how to create a glider grove or nesting box to provide a safe home for several species of gliders that frequent our yard’s tall tree canopies. There are also instructions on how to create a fruit bat buffet and a note on why some of our smaller mammals only live in regional and rural areas.  

Build a blue-tongue bungalow

A simple rock, terracotta roof tile or log is the equivalent of a penthouse apartment for the Common Garden Skink or the Blue-tongue. Use our guide to supporting backyard lizards to improve shelter, habitat and feeding opportunities for our reptilian friends. 

Improve your yard’s soundtrack 

There’s nothing like waking to native birdsong or hearing the sunset calls of a feathery friend. Build a pardalote nest box to turn your green space’s acoustics into an orchestral symphony. Plus, our guide to supporting backyard birds includes tips on how to attract Honeyeaters and colourful parrots! 

Dig a pond for frogs!

Was it the tadpole first or the frog? All frogs start life as tadpoles, in the water! So, if you want frogs in your backyard, you’ll need to ensure there is an aquatic abode for them to raise their offspring. Learn how to build a poind and create frog habitat.  

Experiment with aquatics

Changes in our local rivers, streams and wetlands have put stress on our small native fish populations. You can help increase their numbers by creating a pond-in-a-pot and keeping Pygmy Perch, Galaxias and native Gudgeons. This guide to supporting pond life also teaches you how to attract native insects to your pond and make a swampy bog garden!  

Our ‘Meet your Native Neighbours’ campaign is supported by Yarra Trams Community Partnerships Program and brought to life by the artwork of Luke John Matthew Arnold.  

Our tram was active in the city at night. Our tram was active in the city at night.
Meet Your Native Neighbours artwork on a tram. Meet Your Native Neighbours artwork on a tram.
A Sugar Glider carriage. A Sugar Glider carriage.
Banded Yellow Dart butterfly on a Basalt Brachyscome in a Melbourne garden. Banded Yellow Dart butterfly on a Basalt Brachyscome in a Melbourne garden.
A nature strip devoted to nature. A nature strip devoted to nature.
An Eastern Bluetongue in an urban garden bed. An Eastern Bluetongue in an urban garden bed.

Recent stories

Bush Broadcast 'Deep Dive'


Webinar: Dodgey Downs

Find out about an incredible opportunity to connect our neighbouring conservation reserves, Red Moort and Monjebup, and reconnect fragmented landscape in Koreng Noongar Country, Southwest Western Australia.

Read More
Honey Possum on pink bottlebrush. Photo Michelle Hall.

05/06/2024 05/06/2024

World Environment Day and the power of biodiverse restoration

‘Generation Restoration’ is this year’s World Environmental Day theme, and it couldn’t be more aptly timed alongside our campaign to purchase and restore Dodgey Downs.

Read More
Red-finned Blue-eye. Photo Calumn Hockey.

03/06/2024 03/06/2024

Unique nature reserve in western Queensland granted highest level of protection in Australia

Together with Bidjara Traditional Owners, we've celebrated Edgbaston Reserve’s new Special Wildlife Reserve status.

Read More
Jack and Marja on Pilungah Reserve, Wangkamadla Country, central Queensland.

20/05/2024 20/05/2024

Something for everyone

After three weeks of caretaking on Pilungah Reserve, Wangkamadla Country, central Queensland, Marja and Jack were well and truly isolated.

Read More
Dodgey Downs, remnant vegetation and neighbouring Bush Heritage reserves. Photo by Grassland Films.

15/05/2024 15/05/2024

'Dodgey' by name, not by nature

In the magnificent biodiversity of southwest WA, on Goreng-Noongar Country, the great dividing lines between vegetation and cleared land are stark.

Read More
The critically endangered Central Rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus). Photo: Michael Barritt & Karen May (used under Creative Commons license: CC BY-SA 2.0)

05/04/2024 05/04/2024

Conservationists and landholders unite to protect critically endangered Central Rock-rat

The critically endangered Central Rock-rat has been sighted on Hewitt’s Narwietooma property following ecological surveys conducted in partnership with Bush Heritage Australia.

Read More
Woodland bird. Bush Broadcast.


Webinar: Nardoo Hills turns 20

Victoria has cleared over 80% of its woodlands. In the face of that destruction, 20 years ago Bush Heritage managed to secure critical patches of temperate woodlands within Nardoo Hills, which have been cared for ever since. It’s a beautiful milestone and a cause for celebration.

Read More
A Brushtail Possum at Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary, Badimia Country, WA. Photo: Brad Leue

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

Possum party

Four hours north-east of Perth, the sight of a Brushtail Possum is one for celebration. It was recorded on a motion-sensor camera, and has been on a very special journey.

Read More
Fire on Yourka Reserve, Jirrbal and Warrungu Country, QLD. Photo: Alistair Hartley

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

Team spark

Teamwork, firebreaks and prescribed burning protects Yourka Reserve.

Read More
Cumberland River and cliffs on Gadubanud Country, VIC. Photo: Luke Nagle

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

My happy place

CEO Rachel Lowry revels in the rolling waves, golden sandstone cliffs, and the dark green of thick gum forest of her happy place.

Read More
Ecologist Dr Donna Belder bird monitoring on Scottsdale Reserve, Ngambri and Ngarigo Country, NSW. Photo: Tad Souden

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

Birdy barometer

One in four woodland-dependant birds are listed as threatened, and their populations are declining. Monitoring sheds light on how we can protect them.

Read More
'The Painted Desert' on Evelyn Downs is located on Yankunytjatjara and Antarkirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara  Country, SA. Photo: Annette Ruzicka

BUSHTRACKS 25/03/2024

Protecting a painted beauty

Many paint our arid regions with a broad stroke and by doing so, obscure their vital intricacies. Thanks to our generous supporters, we can appreciate the diverse desert landscape of Evelyn Downs – our largest-ever reserve and newest acquisition.

Read More
Patersonia fragilis 'fairy rings' at Friendly Beaches Reserve, Tasmania. By Mike Bretz.

21/12/2023 21/12/2023

Peculiar Patersonia patterns

High above the 121-hectare reserve, they made a curious discovery. From the controller’s tiny screen, they spotted a strange circular pattern in the vegetation. Then another, and another.

Read More
Tree in arid landscape.


Evelyn Downs webinar

In-depth discussion of our campaign to buy Evelyn Downs in South Australia's Painted Desert. This spectacular property will provide habitat for over 60 species of conservation significance.

Read More
{{itemsInCart}} Items - {{formatCurrency(grandTotal)}}