In your gar­den this month

Bird Watching (UK) - - Garden Birds House Move -

Ponds need at­ten­tion at this time of year, as male frogs of­ten re­main in their depths through­out. Re­move de­cay­ing plant ma­te­rial (which can de­cay and poi­son them and other crea­tures), and float a ten­nis ball on the sur­face to pre­vent it from ic­ing over.

• If you sweep up leaves from paths or lawns, try mov­ing some to a cor­ner of the gar­den, or un­der a hedge, where they can pro­vide shel­ter for Hedge­hogs or other an­i­mals.

• Some but­ter­flies en­ter houses in au­tumn, but then wake up once the cen­tral heat­ing is turned on. If you find one, move it to your garage or shed, us­ing an empty shoe box, and make sure it can exit safely in spring.

• Stacks of plant pots left in a shel­tered spot are great for bees and other in­sects need­ing a cool, dry place. to spend the win­ter in.

• Sim­i­larly, bun­dles of twigs at the back of bor­ders can pro­vide shel­ter for in­ver­te­brates and small mam­mals.

• Re­mem­ber that now’s the time to clear out nextboxes (use a wire brush and soapy wa­ter), so that small birds can use them to shel­ter in dur­ing the worst win­ter weather. Plus, they’ll be ready for early nesters in spring.

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