Caring For Wildlife During Winter

After an exceptionally warm December, the weather is forecast to become much colder. Frosts and perhaps snow will threaten the survival of our garden wildlife but, as Andy Taylor discovers, it's not difficult to provide a little assistance to help birds and other animals survive the severe weather.

Created by Andrew Taylor on Sunday, 1st of January, 2017.
Updated on Tuesday, 4th of April, 2017.


In the Wildlife Care section on GardenSite you'll find a huge range of items. These include nesting boxes to provide shelter ovtha.er the winter and a nesting site in the spring, and bird feeders that should be placed at head height and near a sheltered area such as a hedge. 

Feeding The Birds 

Bags of specialised winter food are available as well as other high protein goodies such as fat balls that you can easily make-up in your kitchen. You can also help birds by not cutting down seeding plants such as sunflowers and planting berry bearing trees and shrubs like holly, viburnum or pyracantha.

Remember not to leave any netting or mesh, that you have used to hang food up, lying around once the fat is eaten - birds will get tangled in it. Also don't use polyunsaturated fats or butter that might get smeared on their feathers.

Fruit is a also a nutritious and juicy bird food, unsalted peanuts and bacon, fresh coconut and uncooked oats are other useful foodstuffs, as are leftovers such as bits of cheese, soaked dog biscuits, boiled rice and spare pet food (although the latter might also attract unwanted attention from cats). Never give birds milk, cooked oats or desiccated coconut.

Bird baths, or just a dish of water, away from predators are also vital not only as a drinking source but also somewhere to clean feathers. Make sure the water is fresh and unfrozen.

Looking After Hedgehogs

Due to a reduction in habitat, hedgehogs have declined in numbers tremendously over the last 50 years. Ensure there are gaps in your fence so that they can roam freely and wild areas with wood piles for shelter and hibernation. Hedgehog houses are freely available to encourage them to take up residence.

Don't tidy the garden up too much and leave any hedge cutting until the spring. Only clear away leaves from the lawn and paths, as frogs love to snuggle up in them to hibernate. Undergrowth and hedges provide shelter and feeding opportunities to many insects and animals.

Read our blog on keeping ponds free from ice using pond heaters and air pumps. Use a pond vacuum to collect decaying debris and always prevent leaves from dying plants from falling into the pond.

Try not to disturb butterflies who like to overwinter in sheds. Avoid destroying spiders' eggs and moth larvae when digging borders. If you do happen to disturb a hibernating amphibian, cover it up quickly with leaves or if you see a hedgehog who hasn't successfully hibernated, feed it on water and dog food, if it's small or out during the day it might be best to contact a specialist organisation for advice.

Related Articles

Innovative Products From Wildlife World

Innovative Products From Wildlife World

Everyone should be serious about encouraging wildlife, and whether you focus on pollinating bees, pest devouring birds or slug eating hedgehogs, David Hall has been looking at the products that Wildlife World design and manufacture to aid their conservation.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Thursday, 14th of September, 2017.

What To Do In The Garden In September

What To Do In The Garden In September

The record breaking temperatures over August bank holiday will have got many people out into the garden and, although autumn is only just around the corner, David Coton can suggest these September jobs.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Tuesday, 29th of August, 2017.

GardenSite Donates to the Wildlife Aid Foundation

GardenSite Donates to the Wildlife Aid Foundation

The Wildlife Aid Foundation recently purchased several animal ornaments from GardenSite and David Coton, one of our partners, thought that this charity carried out such terrific work that we made a charitable donation to assist with the cost.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Tuesday, 9th of May, 2017.

Nectar Rich Late Flowering Plants That Attract Pollinators

Nectar Rich Late Flowering Plants That Attract Pollinators

Late flowering plants are essential sources of nectar for insects including butterflies and bees who are still foraging at this time of the year. Martyn Loach suggests five plants that will make your garden wildlife friendly into the autumn.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Thursday, 15th of September, 2016.

comments powered by Disqus

RSS

View RSS Feed

Author

Andrew Taylor Andrew Taylor

View Profile

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

VegTrug - The Easy Way To Grow Your Own Vegetables

VegTrug - The Easy Way To Grow Your Own Vegetables

At GLEE this year David Coton visited the VegTrug stand to find out how their specially designed space saving planters can encourage us to grow more of our own food without the use of pesticides.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Thursday, 14th of September, 2017.

Forest Launches New Storage Range

Forest Launches New Storage Range

Forest have been making high quality timber garden products for over half a century and at GLEE David Coton had the chance to see their brand new storage range that has recently been launched.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Thursday, 14th of September, 2017.

Innovative Products From Wildlife World

Innovative Products From Wildlife World

Everyone should be serious about encouraging wildlife, and whether you focus on pollinating bees, pest devouring birds or slug eating hedgehogs, David Hall has been looking at the products that Wildlife World design and manufacture to aid their conservation.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Thursday, 14th of September, 2017.

Overview of New Lotus Wheelie Bin Stores, Garages, Sheds and More.

Overview of New Lotus Wheelie Bin Stores, Garages, Sheds and More.

This week Robert Hall has been to the Glee Garden Trade show at the NEC in Birmingham and has reviewed the new Lotus Wheelie Bin Store; Metal Garages, Bicycle Store; Sheds and Workshops and more...

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Thursday, 14th of September, 2017.