As days become shorter finding adequate amounts of food can be a struggle for birds and animals that requires every hour of daylight. Autumn is a key season when it come to wildlife gardening, Steps can be taken to make your garden more enticing for wild animals, providing food and shelter for when times get hard. Here are our top tips for giving birds and animals a helping hand:
- If there isn’t a bird bath in the garden now is the time to install one. Apart from providing drinking water, the birds can also keep their feathers clean, thus ensuring good heat insulation. This Tom Chambers water dish can be attached to a feeding pole.
- Supply a good range of bird feed to attract different species. On offer at Perrywood in Essex are general wild bird seed mixes, scrummy sunflower hearts, high energy suet balls and boxes of mealworms.
- Bird feeders will attract species such as blue-tits and sparrows and are available in a variety of designs including deterrents to keep away squirrels that, if unchecked, can empty a feeder in a matter of hours! Species such as blackbirds and wrens are ground feeders and prefer to find food scattered on the ground. Bird tables attract robins and finches. Place a bird table near windows or patio doors and you’ll find yourself engrossed for hours!
- Create a winter home for hibernating creatures such as hedgehogs, ladybirds, bees, frogs and toads. Log piles are simple to create and attract an assortment of ‘mini-beasts’.
- Position nest boxes this winter so they are ready for the birds to find in the spring. Position away from strong winds or direct sunlight. We love this rustic cedar nestbox, which will look at home on any tree.
- If you clean your garden too thoroughly overwintering wildlife finds itself homeless. Try to leave a few strategic piles in a quiet corner or mulch your beds with leaf mould to provide shelter. Let some of your perennials and flowering shrubs form attractive seed heads. Grasses provide welcome hibernation spots for ladybirds and other insects.
- Birds absolutely love fruit and berries so plan your planting so that your garden still provides some natural sources of food for as long as possible. Choices include Sorbus, Pyracantha and Cotoneaster.
Bird care products make fantastic presents for those who seemingly have everything and provide hours of entertainment for those who are housebound. Spend more than £50 in our online shop to qualify for free UK-wide delivery (conditions apply).