The majority of Britain’s mammals, amphibians and insects give winter up as a bad job and as soon as winter arrives they prepare themselves to find a nice cosy spot to hibernate in until spring. Hedgehogs, ladybirds, bees, frogs and toads are just a few creatures that hibernate over winter.
Creating winter homes in a wildlife friendly spot of your garden is very easy.
Log piles are simple to create and attract an assortment of mini-beasts. Leftover branches from autumn pruning can be piled up and left to rot naturally. Ideally place it in a damp spot area away from extremes in temperatures i.e. behind a shed.
All nooks and crannies are a haven for insects in the garden. These can be recreated by tying up bamboo stems and leaving them in dry spots or by purchasing ‘mini-beast hotels’ to hang in secluded spots.
Frogs and toads can be found hibernating underneath stones and upturned pots. Additional stones and stone tiles can be placed at the base of ponds to provide some additional crevices for amphibians to hide underneath.
Sadly, almost half of the hedgehog population can die in winter from starvation and being unable to survive the cold weather. Provide hedgehogs with a warm place to hibernate by making a leaf pile or for a more permanent residence, purchase a hedgehog house. A plain, meat based pet food and water can be left for hedgehogs to boost their fat reserves. However, stop feeding as soon as winter sets in as you want them to hibernate.