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Top tips for looking after your garden wildlife

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Unfortunately, according to a recent State of Nature report, British Wildlife is in decline. It reported that over 56% of our species have dropped in number over recent decades. The good news is that with a few simple changes your garden can help British wildlife to thrive! Here are some top tips for making your garden more wildlife friendly.

Birds

  • Help birds keep warm – During this (seemingly never-ending) cold spell we are enduring, you can help birds to keep warm by pegging any excess pet hair acquired after brushing to branches or a washing line so that they can use it to build their nests.
  • Place a bird feeder in your garden – Ensure any feeders are raised and not accessible to cats or other predators! If you do provide food and/or fresh water, ensure you keep the containers clean as birds can catch diseases from dirty feeders and bowls.
  • Provide extra food in spring – Most birds will lay their eggs and hatch their chicks in spring as it starts to get warmer so providing extra food around this time can be helpful. According to the RSPB, as well as nuts and seeds, birds love fruit, cheese, bacon and cooked pasta and rice.
  • Provide a nest box – these may be particularly helpful and safe for newly hatched chicks. Click here for top tips on positioning your nest box.

For other tips on helping your garden birds, see the RSPCA website.

Hedgehogs

  • Use garden chemicals sparingly – if you must use slug pellets then place them in pipes or under stones where the Hedgehogs are less likely to find them.
  • Always check long, grassy areas or bushes before mowing or trimming – hedgehogs or wildlife may be making use of this habitat.
  • Make your garden’s very own Hedgehog house or highway – Click here for further details.

Bees and other pollinating insects

  • Choose plants that provide pollen for longer – If you’re adding new flowers to your garden this year, try to choose plants that provide pollen and nectar for as long as possible. The Royal Horticultural society have a list of such plants which you can find by clicking here.
  • Avoid plants that have double or multi-petalled flowers – These flowers are difficult for pollinating insects to access and often contain little or no pollen or nectar.
  • Never use pesticides on plants when they are in flower

For more hints and tips on helping the wildlife in your garden read this article by the Royal Horticultural Society.

 

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