Help the birds and an­i­mals this win­ter... be a lazy gar­dener says Scot­tish Nat­u­ral Her­itage

The Herald - - NEWS - MAU­REEN SUG­DEN

IT seems like an un­likely way to be of as­sis­tance.

But this win­ter, ex­perts are ask­ing gar­den­ers to be “lazy” to aid wildlife.

Dur­ing a sea­son that can be chal­leng­ing due to harsh weather, low tem­per­a­tures and much less food around, Scot­tish Nat­u­ral Her­itage say leav­ing ar­eas to over­grow is help­ful to birds and small an­i­mals.

SNH’S Bio­di­ver­sity Man­ager, Deb­bie Bas­sett, said: “Be a lazy gar­dener. Leav­ing some ar­eas over­grown or filled with leaves and twigs gives in­sects, frogs, toads and small an­i­mals a quiet and cosy place to hide dur­ing the colder months.

“Use your food scraps. Keep a food scraps tub by your cooker – any bits suit­able to feed birds and other wildlife can go straight into it. Bruised or overly-soft fruit that may other­wise go to waste – or in the com­post bin – can also be left out for badgers, foxes and birds. Cut it in half and leave it on the grass or spike it on a tree branch. The black­birds will love you for it.”

She added that peo­ple need to re­mem­ber white bread is a no-no for ducks – pol­lut­ing the wa­ter and mak­ing them ill.

“SNH also say gar­den ponds can be a great wa­ter source for pass­ing wildlife but, when tem­per­a­tures drop, ice can be tricky.

Ms Bas­sett ad­vised: “Our win­ter wildlife loves lazy gar­den­ers at this time of year, and these quick and easy tips are great ways you can help our an­i­mals and birds. Putting out ex­tra food can help birds and mam­mals up their en­ergy re­serves.”

„ A male yel­low ham­mer perched in a snow cov­ered tree.

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