Looking after the wildlife in your garden

Looking after the wildlife in your garden

January and February is a good time to think about looking after the wildlife in your garden, especially with children.

Leave dead stems, leaves and piles of twigs in a corner of the garden to provide extra cover for over wintering wildlife. Put out hedgehog food for hedgehogs who are disturbed from their winter slumbers and go in search of food.

Look after the garden birds. Although it hasn’t been too cold so far this year, extra food plus a ready supply of fresh water will help them to survive when things get tougher.

Fat balls, bird seed and peanut cake provide calories and a bird table keeps food hygienic and away from pets and vermin. A frost-proof bird bath ensures the birds have an ever important supply of fresh water and an old tennis ball in the water helps to prevent it from freezing over.

Clear out any old bird boxes ready for spring. In just a few weeks birds will begin prospecting for a place to nest and old nesting materials can harbour disease. Now is also the ideal time to put up new nest boxes. These will have time to blend in with the surroundings before the nesting season gets into full swing.

And why not carry out a survey of the birds visiting your garden. Then by repeating it every month you’ll be able to see how bird population changes through the seasons.