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Six summertime tips on how to look after your garden wildlife during a heatwave

by Norwoods Gardener | May 06, 2021

Being outside during hot summer days and enjoying the weather is something that everyone is excited for. However, just like humans, wildlife can sometimes struggle in unexpected high temperatures, which is why we’ve come up with six useful tips for looking after wildlife in your garden during a heatwave.

1.Water your garden regularly

Watering your garden sufficiently is not only crucial for plants to stay healthy, but helps wildlife stay hydrated and well fed too. Remember, hedgehogs, frogs and birds find their food by digging and looking for insects in the soil. When soil is too dry or solid, small garden wildlife are unable to find prey as worms and other insects tunnel deeper into the soil.

Bees and butterflies however, live off flower nectar, so plants in your garden should always be watered to ensure a healthy supply of much-needed nutrients from flowers.

2.Keep bird baths full of fresh water

Birds need access to fresh water at all times in order to cool down, clean themselves and drink. Make sure your bird bath is topped up with clean water, and don’t forget to change it regularly.

If you don’t own one, placing a heavy bowl which won’t tip could be another great idea. Birds will definitely appreciate this act of kindness during a hot Summer’s day.



3.Help bees

Bees are vital to the life on our planet – they’re responsible for pollinating over a half of the world’s crop species. To help bees during a heatwave, there are a few simple things we can do in our gardens. By placing a shallow dish filled with pebbles and topping it up with water, this will create the perfect resting spot for busy and thirsty bees.

Also, if you spot an exhausted bee lying on the ground, by soaking a cotton bud in water with sugar and placing it right next to the insect, you’ll provide the bee a boost of much needed energy. Flowers such as lavender, hollyhocks or thyme are all super bee-friendly too – so fill your garden!


4.Provide supplementary food

During a heatwave, wildlife may struggle to maintain a source of food. You can help by providing additional food for hedgehogs, frogs, blackbirds and robins. Believe it or not, wet food for dogs and cats is a great substitute for when worms and insects are away as it’s soft and easily digestible for wildlife – just make sure not to leave it out in the sun for too long as it will spoil!

But don’t fall for the old myth that hedgehogs enjoy drinking cow’s milk – it can cause more harm than good, leading to digestive issues. Instead, fill a small and shallow dish with water, so they can reach it and drink from it whenever they’re thirsty.


5. Create a nature highway

Often wildlife can struggle to move between gardens due to fences or buildings. So, we need to remember that animals are constantly looking for food and shelter, and it is necessary to allow them to migrate freely. Just a simple solution such as leaving a gap in your fence will result in hedgehogs and frogs being free to roam safely between yours and your neighbours’ garden to find those all-important food sources

6. Maintain ivy

Ivy is easy to maintain and grow in your garden, this climbing plant offers a number of benefits for several species. Ivy can become a shelter to bats and birds when the heat strikes, it’s a source of food, and can also provide a home for hibernating insects. The density of ivy growth gives a lot of shadow and is a perfect resting spot during heatwaves.

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