Jenny Steel

Shepherds Way's Wildlife Garden Specialist
Shepherds Way’s Wildlife Garden Specialist

My interest in the natural world began at a very early age.  I collected and reared caterpillars I found in hedgerows, bred sticklebacks in a small aquarium and spent many hours watching and cataloguing the birds and invertebrates in my parents’ tiny garden in Oxford.    I went on to get a master’s degree from Oxford University in plant ecology and I continued to work there on a variety of ecological research projects before leaving to set up a plant nursery called The Wildlife Gardening Centre in Oxfordshire, where customers could buy native wildflowers, trees and shrubs and wildlife friendly cottage garden plants.  Combining wildlife and gardening was the perfect job for me!

My particular interests are plant and insect interactions, our native birds, butterflies and moths, and native wildflowers and garden wildlife of all sorts.  I am really passionate about wildflower meadows, wildlife ponds, attracting garden birds, wildlife friendly herbaceous borders and growing vegetables.

Now I teach courses, give talks and write books about wildlife gardening, while tending my beautiful 2 acre wildlife garden in the South Shropshire Hills.  My website is