Be nice to wildlife this winter
Hold your nerve and resist the urge to tidy up borders until the
beginning of March. Dead stems, seedheads and leaves are are
useful as food and hiding places.
A bird bath can be a vital source of drinking water for birds
during the winter. Ensure that yours is topped up, and kept free of
Hang bird feeders if you have not had them out already through
previous seasons; remember to wash them regularly.
There is a huge range of bird foods available on the market, but
household scraps and fallen fruit from the garden will do just as
well. The greater the variety of food that you supply, the greater
variety of birds you are likely to see in your garden.
Clear out bird nesting boxes if you haven't done so already -
birds will soon be looking for winter roosts in which to keep warm.
Old nesting material can harbour parasites, which will be of harm
to new residents.
Corrugated iron or plastic laid on the soil can provide warm
tunnels for small reptiles, amphibians and mammals to hibernate in.
Once it becomes covered with moss, algae, weeds and earth, even
metal retains heat through the winter, providing a warm and secure
Put out log and twig piles made from old prunings and felled
trees. These provide valuable shelter for wildlife.
Hedgehogs can emerge from hibernation for a quick food foray
during mild spells, before returning to their hiding place when
temperatures drop back near freezing. Hedgehog and badger food is
now available for sale. It is not a good idea to feed hedgehogs
with bread and milk, as this is not their natural diet. Dog food is