5 backyard projects to keep nature-lovers busy this autumn

Get some fresh air and sunlight with these do-it-yourself backyard activities that the whole family can enjoy.

If you’re in need of a good project to keep you mentally and physically active while you’re at home, there’s good news.

Your own backyard has the potential for many nature-inspired projects that the whole family can get involved in.

Here are five projects that you might like to sink your teeth into this autumn:

1. Get gardening

Now that summer is over and autumn is here, it’s the perfect time to get stuck into gardening. Some say autumn is the most important season for your garden – so where do you start?

Our friends from the Botanic Gardens of South Australia have helped us create a guide of seven steps that will have your yard coming up roses, covering everything from planting and fertilizing, to attracting worms and loading up your leaves.

Read our story: 7 things to work on in your garden this autumn for everything you need to know.

2. Start a composting system

Did you know that up to half the waste thrown out by the average Australian household is organic material?

 This waste can be put in your green council bin to be collected and turned into mulch and other products – or, you can set up your own composting system which will make your garden healthier.

Turning your kitchen and garden waste into what some gardeners call ‘black gold’ may be simpler than you think.

All it takes is a good set-up, knowing what to include, learning how to layer, and understanding how to use it.

Read our story: A beginner’s guide to composting to find out how you can do it.

3. Make your own raingarden

Instead of worrying that a few forgotten hosings have ruined your plants, you could make a raingarden.

By collecting the rain that runs off your roof, driveway and other hard surfaces and directing it into a raingarden, you create a natural watering system. And with the right plants, raingardens can also clean the water before it goes out to sea.

Now’s the perfect time to get prepared and set up your raingarden so it can capture every drop of autumn and winter rain.

Read our story: How to make a raingarden to find out how to get started and make every drop count.

4. Build a cubby house

 School holidays are here, and cubby building is a great way to get kids outdoors and in the fresh air – not to mention, it gives them a break from technology.

For cubby building, you’ll already have most of the necessary materials in your house or backyard – like sheets, rugs, branches, and pieces of bark.

And if you don’t have some of the key items handy, it’s a perfect opportunity to get creative and improvise.

Get some cubby inspiration and ideas by reading our story: How to build a cubby in your own backyard.

5. Make a nestbox

Tree hollows support a huge variety of Australia’s native animals, like sugar gliders, kookaburras, microbats, ducks, owls, parrots, galahs, cockatoos and possums, for nesting, roosting and shelter.

Tree hollows take anywhere from 80-300 years to develop, but older trees are getting harder to come by as many have been cleared for urban development or to be used for firewood, or removed for safety reasons.

With fewer natural tree hollows on offer, you can help native wildlife by installing a nest box in a tree in your own garden.

You can buy a nestbox or you can make it yourself, and it can be a great family activity. Find out more about how to build one and what type of box suits what species by reading our story: How you can help native wildlife by installing a next box in your garden.

While you’re putting some TLC into your backyard, keep an eye out for some friendly critters while you’re out there. Find out how to attract birds to your garden, and keep an eye out for these five insects.

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