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