Help wildlife this win­ter

With me­te­o­rol­o­gists pre­dict­ing a long, cold win­ter, here’s how to cre­ate a haven in your back gar­den

Best - - cONTENTS -

What­ever out­door space you have, try these sim­ple tips from Wye­vale Gar­den Cen­tres and the RSPB to pro­tect wildlife this year.

Don’t tidy up! If you can leave an area of your gar­den nat­u­rally un­kempt, doormice, hedge­hogs and other wildlife can use the fallen leaves, twigs and dead veg­e­ta­tion to build shel­ters.

Put up a nest­ing box, as small birds will use them to keep off the bad weather in win­ter. You might find they also come back to nest when spring ar­rives.

Make sure bird baths and wa­ter fea­tures are clean, reg­u­larly topped up and free from ice. Place a ta­ble-ten­nis ball in the wa­ter to stop it freez­ing over.

Nec­tar and pollen tend to be scarce in win­ter. Cul­ti­vat­ing some late-flow­er­ing plants in your out­door space, such as Michael­mas daisies, se­dums, ivy and asters, will help boost the sup­plies. Birds also need high-en­ergy foods like suet balls or meat scraps to main­tain their fat re­serves, help­ing them to sur­vive frosty nights.

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