Winter can be tough for all of us it’s cold, dark and the last thing you want to be is outside when you can see icicles hanging from the trees. However, animals and birds aren’t so lucky so it’s important we do all we can to help them through the colder months. Food is often scarce for many animals in winter so why not help hedgehogs by leaving out some tinned meat? Make sure there’s a small bowl of fresh water visitors can drink from and that visiting birds to your garden are rewarded. By following a couple of the ideas listed not only will you be assisting animals at a difficult time, but be able to enjoy the variety of wildlife snuffling around your garden.
Beautiful Bird Table
Pop a lovely, wooden bird table in the centre of your garden and scatter breadcrumbs, seeds, peanuts, cheese, and fruit you’ll be able to find grocery online as well as buying mealworms from your garden store. Birds often find it hard to get enough food at this time of year as berries, insects, seeds and worms have either died or are covered by a thick layer of snow. Once the word has gotten out that there’s food your bird table will be filled with hungry feathery visitors. However, bear in mind these are all wild animals and will get lazy quickly if they receive regular handouts, which makes them unwilling to source their own food so it’s important to limit how much is given.
[Flickr Image Courtesy of Tony Hisgett]
Help Squirrels Go Nuts
Despite what many people think these fluffy tailed creatures don’t actually hibernate instead they collect a store of nuts to munch on in their cozy, dry drey’s, or nests all winter. The gathering starts in early autumn and only ends when they’ve found enough to eat so you can help them out by leaving nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds as well as sliced apple, carrot and even spinach or beans. A regular small handful of these foods will see squirrels safely through till spring.
Break The Ice
Many animals don’t possess the strength to make a hole in water that’s frozen over so when people think they’ll be alright often wildlife struggle to find enough to drink. Check your water bowl, or dish regularly as it could have frozen overnight and make sure to refill it regularly as you don’t know how many animals are using this precious water source to survive. If you have a pond you also need to make a hole as overtime toxic gas can build up and harm any fish or frogs living in the water. Don’t use a sharp item as you may injure any fish swimming near by instead take a pan of boiling water and pour it on the surface and the ice will then melt.
Let Your Garden Grow
Now isn’t the time to be doing any weeding, burning or leaf clearing in the winter months simply let your garden rest and grow wild. Don’t worry when spring comes you’ll be able to clean up but for now compost heaps, piles of leaves and even overgrown brambles can become the perfect winter retreat for many a creature.
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