Winter isn’t that far away now and the nights especially are starting to get colder. This means that it’s time to get our home and gardens in order. Here are a few ways to look after garden wildlife in winter.
Tidy the garden
To start with having a good tidy up in the garden before winter is a great idea. Make sure you put away any toys if there are any laying around, cover the furniture to keep it safe and put away any trip hazards. If any animals such as cats or hedgehogs do come in your garden there won’t be as many possibilities of them hurting themselves.
While leaves can make your garden look messy you can actually use them to help wildlife in your garden over the winter. By using piles or heaps of leaves you can provide a winter home or shelter for a while for things like hedgehogs or insects. Place them underneath bushes or plants and they leaves can create a safe and sheltered space for the wildlife in your garden.
Leave out some food
Some animals struggle to find food in the colder months and by leaving some out you can really help. There are lots of different things you can do for birds such as leaving out seeds, nuts or suet balls as well as chopped up fruit. If you don’t have a bird table you could always use the garden table or just pop some out in a bowl. Hedgehogs can really benefit from you leaving food out as well and they can have things like tinned dog or cat food as well as chopped boiled eggs.
Hedgehogs hibernate in the winter so they need to find somewhere warm and safe to do this. You can buy ready made hedgehog houses or you can make your own. Make sure it’s big enough for them to make a home in for the winter and maybe even big enough in case there is a hedgehog family. Place the house against a wall or fence out of the way of strong winds and try to shelter it as much as possible.
Ponds can really suffer in the winter especially when the temperature really drops and the water freezes over. By placing a tennis (or other small ball) in the water before winter this can help to stop the water from freezing over completely. You can also try to unfreeze the pond yourself with some warm water if it gets frozen over.