With our countryside diminishing it has become even more improtant for gardeners to offer refuge to wildlife. Your garden doesn't need to be messy to attract wildlife but be careful not to over tidy and remove possible shelter and hibernating spots.
Here are some handy tips for looking after the wildlife in your garden this winter:
1. Feed the birds: During the colder months your garden birds may find it difficult to find their natural diet readily available (berries, insects, seeds, worms and fruit). Put out a range of seeds, fresh unsalted peanuts and table scraps to give them a helping hand. You can also put fat blocks in the wire feeders. Why not make your own bird feeder using this handy online tutorial - WATCH HERE
2. Bonfires & compost heaps: Check your bonfires for hibernating hedgehogs, toads & frogs before lighting them. Give the leaves a gentle prod with a non sharp stick to wake up any hibernating guests to save them from a grisly end. Turn compost heaps gently as their warmth attracts frog & toads.
3. De-ice ponds: If your garden pond freezes over, ensure you make a hole in the ice. Toxic gases can build up in the water of a frozen pond, which may kill any fish or frogs that are hibernating at the bottom.
4. Plants: Plant berrying and fruiting trees and shrubs such as Malus, Cotoneaster and Pyracantha to provide shelter and a food source for birds.