This is a crucial time of year for the wildlife gardener. As the weather there are lots of things we can do to help the animals and birds that visit the garden over the autumn and winter months.
It’s important to give the wildlife in your garden access to reliable food sources, as the weather gets colder. Providing food will give birds and other animals the nutrients they need to survive the cold, or for the long flight south for winter. Leave seed heads on plants such as roses and lavender to provide food for birds, and start filling bird feeders with nuts and seeds. Keep bird baths topped up with water and break the ice on them in colder weather. If you provide a bird feeder, remember to keep it topped up throughout winter, so that birds who come to rely on it won’t arrive to find it empty.
If you have the space, create log piles from autumn cutbacks and any trees you’ve pruned back. Log piles are brilliant hibernation habitats for all sorts of wildlife, from hedgehogs to rare stag beetles to ladybirds and centipedes.. They don’t have to be large, just undisturbed so the wood can rot down. If you don’t have your own wood to use, you should be able to beg some logs from a local tree surgeon – look out for vans parked in your neighbourhood.