Around Christmas and Hogmanay, it’s important to take action for the wildlife in your garden. Follow our simple tips to make sure they’re not left in the cold this winter.
- Leave plenty of water out for the birds. Water can be in scarce supply at this time of year but the birds in your garden rely on it. If the water in your bird bath freezes, smash the top of the ice to let the birds drink.
- Wash your bird feeders regularly. Trichomonosis is a deadly disease that affects finches, which is spread by dirty bird feeders.
- There is a range of food available which will attract different species. The insides of sunflower seeds, known as sunflower hearts are eaten by all birds and garden mammals. We also recommend peanuts: chop them up to make them easier for smaller birds to eat. Niger seed, bird cake, meal worms and grated cheese are all good for birds. Food to avoid includes cooked porridge, cooking fat, margarine and dry bread, which can expand inside birds’ stomachs.
- Piles of leaves and branches provide homes for wildlife in winter such as hedgehogs. Avoid setting fire to them if you’re planning a bonfire.
- If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with red squirrels, put out nuts. They are the squirrel’s favourite food and will make sure you get plenty of return visitors. Putting out apples provides an excellent source of calcium, helping squirrels to keep their teeth strong.
If you spot some wildlife this winter, take a picture and send it to us through our website. We’d love to see some shots of wildlife flourishing in winter time.