We’ve all had a great summer. The weather has been wonderful, we’ve spent time with the kids and our families and hopefully we’ve even managed a few days away from work. So, so now that the seasons have moved on and the weather has seemingly changed dramatically overnight, we can all turn up the thermostat and get cosy. But spare a thought for all the wildlife!
Cold, harsh winters can be a real blow for birds and small creatures, so why not give them a helping hand? Unsure of where to begin? Well, don’t worry, read on for a quick and easy guide on how you can make life a little easier for wildlife this winter. You can get the kids involved too!
Yes, we’re talking about helping wildlife in the colder months, but actually planning ahead and getting things ready for next year is also a sure fire way to keep wildlife coming back to your outdoor space. When you’re thinking about planting your bulbs for spring, consider adding wildflowers to that list. Wildflowers are the perfect habitat and food source for all kinds of creatures.
If you have a pond in your garden then chances are you’ll probably have some amphibious visitors! Did you know that male frogs like to spend the colder months of the year in the murky depths of ponds, breathing through their skin? But if your pond freezes over, and there’s lots of plant debris in there then that can release gases which will harm the frogs. Now is the time to clear out any debris or dead plants from the pond and float a ping pong ball or golf ball on the surface to stop it freezing over completely.
If you have lots of empty plant pots, stack them neatly together and just like that you’ve created the perfect place for bees, and other insects to shelter from high winds and wet weather.
Raking up all those leaves can be a chore, but don’t just dispose of them, instead place them in a corner or by a fence or hedgerow. It’ll create the perfect shelter for any hedgehogs or small mammals looking for somewhere safe to rest.
Got some old nest boxes in your garden? Now is the time to clear them out so they can have a new owner this winter. And who knows, there might be some baby birds in your garden come Spring.
Small insects like ladybirds and butterflies will often fly into our homes during the Autumn, looking for somewhere cool and dry to rest for the winter. However, when we turn on our heating they wake up and fly around expending energy. If you find a butterfly or ladybird in your home, then try to transport it gently to your shed instead – where it will remain dry and the temperature constant. Then, when the time is right, they can escape via a window or gap in the structure.