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It’s officially winter! The days and nights are colder and darker and I wouldn’t step foot outside my door without being wrapped in my coat.
We are lucky enough to have warm fires to sit around but how does our country’s wildlife cope in the cold? You can help wildlife to survive these cold winter months by making your garden a wildlife-friendly zone. Here are some tips from gardening professionals Oeco Garden Rooms:
How to make your garden a hibernation-friendly zone
During the hibernation period, it’s important for wildlife to be able to find shelter and warmth, to be able to search for food and to keep hydrated.
- Let the grass overgrow in some areas of your garden. This provides an area for small insects and hedgehogs to gather in and take shelter.
- Keep a hedge in your garden. This provides a protected space with a rooftop that helps fight off the cold weather and rain.
- Put logs in your garden for wildlife to nest under.
- Hang a birdhouse or two.
- Install a bird feeder and keep it constantly stocked.
- Dig a pond. Ponds encourage wildlife such as hedgehogs, who will use it to stay hydrated. Make sure to build a low edge on the side of the pond as hedgehogs tend to struggle to get back out. Alternatively, leave out a bowl of fresh water (change the water often to keep it fresh).
- Check for potential hazards such as holes, drains or pits, which can cause animals to get stuck, trapped or drown.
Hedgehogs Hibernate in November all the way through to March. They store enough fat in order to get through the hibernation period.
Hedgehogs do eat: cat food, chopped peanuts, peanut butter.
Hedgehogs do not eat: milk or bread
Birds tend to migrate rather than hibernate. Birds seek their warmth in trees, nests or bird houses.
Birds do eat: fruit, sunflower seeds, milo, cracked corn, millet, and mealworms
Birds don’t eat: apple seeds, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, avocados, peanuts or cheese
Squirrels tend not to hibernate over the winter period, they remain less active when bad weather circumstances occur.
Squirrels do eat: hazelnut, beechnut, fungus, acorns, insects, spruce seeds, pine seeds
Frogs and toads
Frogs freeze their bodies over the winter months. They either dig down to the bottom of the pond underneath the bottom surface and create their own roof top over themselves, or they can be found underneath leaf litters, logs and underground tunnels.
Frogs do eat: moths, flies, snails, slugs, and worms
Frogs don’t eat: vegetables, fruit or pet food