The wildlife-friendly garden in winter

Hedgehog
Photo: Hedgehog. Source: WildlifeTrusts.org

As we approach the end of the year many garden creatures start to seek sheltered places to over-winter. Providing suitable sites for overwintering is an easy way to support them.

Log Pile
Photo: Log pile. Source: www.anglianhome.co.uk
      1. Build a log pile. A pile of logs, twigs and leaves in a quiet corner will provide a habitat for species from beetles to hedgehogs that help to control pests naturally. A shady area of the garden is best.
      2. Don’t be too tidy. Leave some perennials uncut until the spring.  They look great covered by frost and provide food for birds throughout the winter.
      3. Put up nesting boxes and feeders.
        Bird Feeder
        Photo: Bird Feeder. Source: www.duncraft.com

        By putting up a few insect homes – bird and bat boxes, feeders designed to attract bees, butterflies, insects, hedgehogs, frogs and others – you’re giving wildlife a helping hand and safety to feed and hibernate.

      4. Feed the birds. Put out nuts, seeds, scraps and fat balls, especially in winter when there’s not much food around and later on in spring when they’ve chicks to feed.  Place feeders close to shrubs and trees for cover and near to the house, so you can watch them.
      5. Use mulches to control weeds and be careful with chemicals. This will encourage pest-eaters like frogs, toads and song-thrushes.
      6. Help the hedgehogs. Leave holes in fences or newly constructed walls so hedgehogs can come and go from the garden.  If you want to feed them try plain pet food, not bread or milk.  Check long grass before strimming, compost heaps before forking and bonfires before lighting!

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