Can you imagine spending time outdoors and hearing nothing? No soft buzzing of the bees, the birds singing or the rustling of some unknown creature snuffling through the leaves. it would be devastating. If we don’t do something soon to protect our wild areas we may just live to experience this.
Before this happens, we are out to help and make a difference. We’ve been getting on top of a lot of jobs the week. Packing away our greenhouse before the winter winds come. We have,
- removed spent plants and planted some spring bulbs, and flowers.
- collected the last of our autumn raspberries and prepared our pumpkins for carving
- and now we’re turning our attention for our garden friends.
Prepare Your Garden Wildlife For Winter
Towards the end of October, there are plenty of jobs that need doing to help the wildlife in your garden prepare for winter. So to inspire you to get out there, here is a list of things we do to help the wildlife in our garden thrive in winter.
Feeding The Birds
Birds are hunting for regular sources of food at this time of year. High fat and protein foods like peanuts, lard and suet.
Every year we make homemade bird feeders and hang them in the garden, as well as, sprinkling different food around for ground feeding species. Robins love grated cheese!
If you start feeding garden birds, make sure you start now and continue to feed them everyday.
The birds will come to rely on it as their main source of food as winter goes on so ensure you don’t stop as this will make it difficult for birds to get food easily and spent a lot of unnecessary energy coming to your garden for nothing.
Water is also an important resource for birds so make sure you provide a shallow dish of water and keep it well filled and clean.
Placing a ball that floats in the water can stop it freezing so quickly too.
If you want to set up a bird feeding station make sure you include different types of feed too.
- Peanuts (crushed)
- and Fat balls are all good for different species.
If you’re planning on encouraging hedgehogs or toads into the garden for winter to find a place to hibernate, you need to get on the ball.
Start by providing food.
Putting out wet and dry cat food to attract hedgehogs to your garden. DO NOT PUT OUT MILK OR BREAD! Hedgehogs can be lactose intolerant and milk can make them very ill.
Leave an area of garden wild.
Leaves piles of leaves and logs around so the hedgehog can find a cosy corner to sleep in. Rocks are really good for toads to hide in so pile up a load in the corner or stack up leaves and twigs to help frogs, slugs, and hedgehogs. Try to make a variety of different habitats to attract a wide range of wildlife.
Keep feeding ‘hogs until they stop coming. Although leaving a small dish of dry cat food out is a good idea right through the winter, as hedgehogs will often waken up and search for a snack.
You could make a hedgehog house to help keep your spiky friends cosy.
Insects, butterflies and moths etc all need a place to over winter too. One way you can help insects in the winter is by letting the grass on your lawn grow longer.
Another way to provide shelter, food and protection for insectes is to make a log pile.
What we do is to collect a bag of dried leaves and stack these up against the hedge at the back of our garden. Then we collected some chunky sticks and a few small logs from the fallen trees at the end of our patch.
My eldest likes to practise his drilling skills by drilling some holes in these logs too which is great for little bees etc. We then stack them over the leaves to make a large pile.
Once we’ve built our log pile, we try not to go near that end of the garden so the wildlife can settle and stay cosy.
If you have room you could make a bug hotel like this too or buy one like this.
We can see the area from the window though and its fun to let the kids watch with the telescope.
For more info on helping the wildlife in your garden get the free guide here.