Wildlife has a hard time over the winter – unlike us humans they can’t put the central heating on and snuggle up or get themselves cosy clothing like these Mens Aran Sweaters from Shamrock gift! So, in the winter it is a great idea to help to provide for the wildlife. As well as the plummeting temperatures and bad weather, this is a time when the food is scarce – with the summer far behind us and the nuts and berries long gone, the animals can often struggle to find enough food to survive over the winter months. However, your garden can provide them a sanctuary where they will be able to find shelter and food – here are some things that you can do in the garden to make sure that the local wildlife has a good chance of survival this winter…
Creating shelter for wildlife is easy, and you will find that it probably attracts a lot of different species to your garden! Bees are incredibly important for the ecosystem as a whole yet are declining in number dramatically. To help them you can make a bee hotel – a safe place for the bees to spend the winter in a sheltered spot. You can also buy these if you prefer to have something that is ready made. If you have lots of fallen autumn leaves all over your grass, don’t throw them in the garden waste bin just yet – these make ideal spots for creatures like hedgehogs and slow worms to shelter over the winter. Collect them up into big piles and leave them there for the animals to find over the winter.
Although next boxes are not going to be used for nesting birds at this time of the year, now is the time to clean them out with warm water, as they may well provide a shelter for many minibeasts in the colder months and cleaning them out now gets them ready for the spring when birds will once again be looking for a suitable place to build nests.
Food is also something that you can help to provide over the winter. For hedgehogs as well as local foxes, put down some cat or dog food each night around quieter parts of the garden. Hedgehogs will also enjoy fruits like apples and banana! For birds create a high up feeding platform which is away from predators. You can put seeds and nuts there, as well as getting the hanging cage style feeders – a favourite with the smaller birds such as blue tits. Fat balls are something else that goes down really well with many garden birds, and these are great fun to make yourself. There are lots of different types of wild bird foods available, so it is a good idea to try out a few, as this provides variety and also is likely to attract many different species of birds to the garden.