Gardening for wildlife: How to help them out this winter

garden wildlife

There’s no doubt that the hedgehogs and frogs in your area have been out on a winter’s night before, but many of them have yet to experience such harsh weather. While their habits stay the same, the amount of extreme weather and heavy rainfalls keep increasing – making it incredibly tough for them to find enough food and stay dry.

Luckily, you and your garden can help them out a bit during this cold and dark season. Start early to make sure it’s all ready before the frost sets, and enjoy the warming sight of an active backyard with furry creatures, grateful for the food and shelter you’re providing.

Garden Birds: Don’t tidy up quite yet

The birds in your area would absolutely love it if you left the biggest garden cleanup until spring. They need those overgrown bushes and ripe berries during the winter, and by being productive enough to tidy it up before spring comes, you’re actually making life a bit harder for them.

Any bushes with bright berries should be left as they are, and you can even add some extra food to their diet by putting out some peanuts and sunflower hearts. Visit a fruit tree nursery at some point as well and consider planting a few extra ones; it will keep your garden thriving well into spring.

If you’re just itching to get started with something else, seeing that you can’t get started on pruning those bushes yet, you may consider putting out a birdhouse already now.

They won’t nest in it now, of course, but it’s a neat way for them to familiarize themselves with it – and increase the chances of you seeing a few young chicks in your garden when spring comes.

Hedgehogs: A pile of logs

Have you ever opened the garden shed for the first time of the year, only to find that a poor hedgehog wandered in over winter? They like to stay warm and cosy, so it’s not that odd, really – we would probably have done the same if we were a lost and cold hedgehog in December.

Clear away any tools they may get stuck in this autumn, and consider putting up a pile of logs in the garden as well.

It makes it a bit less likely that they’ll choose your shed as accommodation as the log pile can keep them just as warm and safe. Just remember to make sure they’re all out before you light the bonfire in the spring.

If you’d like to go the extra mile for these cute creatures, you can even put out a bowl of cat food from time to time. You may attract cats as well as hedgehogs, though, so you might want to use those sunflower hearts you put out for the birds. They won’t like it as much, but it will go down alright.

It’s no exaggeration that wildlife suffers due to extreme weather and temperature changes. If it’s not drought, it’s freezing winters or even rainy ones – the wildlife simply can’t seem to catch a break. Read more about the problem in this article, by the way, to defrost even the coldest hearts, and find ways to make it easier for them this year.

Bats, owls, frogs, and even squirrels are struggling to cope with the changes, so make your garden their go-to place for food and comfort.