As the weather turns cold, lots of wildlife species need an extra helping hand to get through the winter season. If you’d like to use your garden space to help support local creatures in the coming months, here are a few hints and tips to get you started.
- Birds benefit greatly in the winter from foods with a high fat content. Think fat blocks, suet, and even foods like bacon and cheese for smaller birds such as wrens. However, even birds need to eat a balanced diet so nuts and grains will keep them healthy.
- Trees and shrubs that grow fruit are an easy way to provide a food source in your garden. An apple tree or pyracantha shrub will add a pop of colour in your garden and some tasty snacks for any visitors.
- If you have a water source like a pond that has frozen over, melt a hole in the ice using a hot saucepan to help wildlife access the water for drinking and bathing. A shallow dish of water on the ground with pebbles in for steps can also provide a valuable water source.
- Herbaceous and hollow-stemmed plants can be a great home for a range of insects, so leave them unpruned until the spring.
If you start taking these steps as soon as the first hard frost appears, your garden will be a sanctuary for wildlife in the harsher winter months! For more information on how you can use your garden space to support local creatures, check out these tips from the RHS.