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How to look after your garden wildlife this winter

by Norwoods Gardener | Nov 19, 2020

This time of year sees the weather turn, and as the days get cooler and wetter our wildlife need a little helping hand. We’ve put together a list of our top tips on how to make sure you garden visitors are well looked after during the winter months – which will you be doing first?

Don’t be too tidy

Music to our ears! Although you might be tempted to tidy up fallen leaves and make sure any spent flowers are cut back, this type of ground cover and debris is essential for garden creatures – especially insects, which in turn provide food for other predators such as birds and hedgehogs.

If you’re still tempted to tidy up, why not gather up your garden waste and create a dedicated area which you can leave looking wild for animals to shelter in.


Feed the birds

Food becomes scarce during the winter months, so why not pledge to keep your visiting birds fed this winter? Keep your feeders topped up with essential seeds and fats, and make sure ground-feeding birds such as robins and dunnocks are catered for too.


It’s also important to clean out your feeders once in a while to avoid build up of disease too.


Make sure water is on tap

Although it’s during winter, water can be hard to come by for wildlife – especially as the temperature drops. Although it’s tempting to cover them to avoid falling debris collecting, leave your ponds open so mammals and birds can access them.

If we’re going through a particularly cold spell, regularly check your water sources – ponds, bird baths, small dishes left at ground level – and thaw them out if they’ve frozen over.


Consider a pop of winter colour

Not only will a splash of colour from plants such as sedums, ivy and asters look lovely, but they also provide essential food to insects as nectar and pollen can be hard to come by. Other fruit trees also provide lovely displays and essential food for birds and small mammals too.


As most trees drop their leaves in the autumn, it’s important to make sure animals are left with some shelter. Any bushes or hedging which can be left to do its thing over winter provides essential cover for birds and animals, plus great spots to nest, so don’t be tempted to get out those shears!


Head on over to our social channels to keep up with the latest goings on in the Irrigatia team’s own gardens!