Learn how to look after your local garden wildlife this Christmas with Eco Garden!
So many of you loved learning how to take care of your local hedgehogs this Halloween that we thought we’d do a bigger post about looking after your local domestic wildlife this winter 🦔🐿🦡🍂🍁🐌
Step 1. Let your garden go wild!
- Leave wild areas in your garden like piles of leaves or brushwood undisturbed. These deposits can make the perfect nest, bedding & cuddly warmness in which animals can hide, rest & hibernate.
- If it doesn’t cause you too much inconvenience try leaving the tidying of your garden borders, shrubs & flower beds until the early spring. This provides shelter for insects through the winter & also means you can stay nice & warm in your home by the fire instead of shivering out in the rain raking leaves.
- Your compost heap is an amazingly welcoming habitat for frogs, toads, worms, inspects & even grass snakes in certain areas of the country. Composting now means you’ll have lots of nourishing material to use come spring when you’re planting your flower beds.
Step 2. Break the ice!
- If you’re lucky enough to have a pond in your garden & it freezes over, make sure you put a hole in the ice! Toxic gases can sometimes build up under the ice of a frozen pond which will suffocate & kill any fish, frogs or wildlife hibernating at the bottom!
- The reason you should put a hole in the ice & not break it up with force or pour boiling water on it is to keep the fish living in the pond from harm. We recommend using the bottom of a pan of hot water to melt a hole in the ice.
Step 3. Feed the birds!
- Birds can find it tough to find berries, seeds, insects, worms & fruits during the winter months. If you have any particularly tasty delectables suitable for your local birds then put them outside for your feathery friends!
- A variety of seeds (such as pumpkin seeds), fresh unsalted peanuts (surely a seasonal snack knocking around your house somewhere) & table scraps like cheese & fruits like the apples from your cheese boards are perfect! Garden birds love dried mealworms or waxworms, which are less likely to be hiding away in a tin in your cupboards, however they can be bought from bird food suppliers & will definitely make your local feathery neighbours winter a lot more comfortable!
Step 4. Wildlife need a drink too!
- Whilst our neighbouring wildlife might not chug the wine at Christmas at quite the same rate as us...Clean water & food will encourage visiting hedgehogs to return regularly to your garden. Even mince meat, fresh liver, tinned dog food (not fish based), or even scrambled eggs appeal to these adorable creatures. (You guessed it. Hedgehogs are one of our favourite creatures 🦔)
- A reminder from our previous post – hedgehogs like milk but it may cause severe diarrhoea & dehydration which can be fatal in the winter months. Clean, fresh water is much better.
Step 5. Invite your party guests!
- Your local wildlife like to party too...When food is scarce in the winter months try putting out a small amount of an appropriate treat to help see the mammals visiting your garden through the winter.
- 🦊 Put out cheese, boiled potatoes, chicken carcasses, bread & fat scraps at dusk. Keep in mind that foxes might also look to snack on some of the other wildlife in your garden as well as the treats you put out for them 👀
- 🐿 Squirrels do not hibernate. This is a common misconception. They’re actually far too greedy for that...instead they gather as much food as they can during autumn to eat when snacks are scarce. Offer them nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts & almonds, plus some chopped apple, carrots or spinach. These regular snacks for you will be a delight for these super cute tree floofs.
- 🦡 Badgers have a tough time finding their favourite food – earthworms – when the ground is frozen. Provide them with lightly cooked meats, cheese, peanuts & fruit. Badgers are rarely seen in most built up areas but that’s usually because they don’t want to be. But they still gotta eat!
- Try to remember not to leave out large quantities of food each evening to avoid your furry guests becoming too dependent on handouts. They still need to fend for themselves & whilst it’s nice to make their Christmas a little more comfortable you don’t want to make them lazy!
- It is also not advisable to provide food if it encourage wildlife to cross a busy road so keep that in mind when placing your snacks.
We really hope this has been a useful read! We all deserve a lovely festive season this year after the way 2020 has gone. Let’s make it a Christmas to remember after a year to forget! Here’s to all our furry friends in our gardens 🌍
Stay tuned for our amazing November Black Friday offers coming very, VERY soon! You heard it here first!
All for now guys. Stay safe & take care 🌳
Billy at Eco Garden