Feed the birds
Feeding the birds in your garden is vital at this time of year, as they may struggle to source natural foods such as insects, berries, seeds and worms. Not only will you be helping wildlife, but you may even get the opportunity to see garden birds up close and identify each species! Lorna Shaw, Biological Records Centre Co-ordinator for Essex Wildlife Trust explores what to feed garden birds, and how recording your sightings can help in protecting these species in her latest blog.
Provide fresh water
Even when it is cold, animals still need access to water to drink and bathe in. By simply providing a shallow bowl of clean water in your garden, you can help wildlife including hedgehogs.
Leave your garden wild!
As your garden begins to appear a little unruly, try to avoid tidying away too much. By leaving some areas of your garden undisturbed such as piles of brushwood or leaves, you can provide the perfect nest for animals to rest and hide in. If you have a compost heap, this may become a welcome habitat for species such as slow worms. Top tip: try not to cut back mature ivy, as this can provide shelter for hibernating insects, and the berries a food source for birds in late winter.
Break the ice
If you have a pond in your garden and it freezes over, carefully make a hole in the ice to prevent toxic gases building up in the water that can harm wildlife hibernating at the bottom. Never break the ice by pouring boiling water, instead gently place a pan of hot water on the surface.