As the days and nights become colder many people are tempted to retreat from the garden and snuggle up indoors until spring. But before getting too comfortable, spare a thought for the wildlife shivering outside and follow the RSPB’s top tips to help birds and other creatures get through the coldest months.
At this time of year all types of wildlife will start preparing for the winter, and the RSPB is calling on CEMEX employees to lend a helping hand to ensure there is enough food and shelter. Sam Tarrant, CEMEX’s RSPB Biodiversity Advisor, said: “Autumn is a great time of year to do all sorts of jobs to give nature a home in your outside space – whether it’s a large garden or a small window box: build or buy a hedgehog shelter, also known as a ‘hogitat’; put up nest boxes; dig a pond or tidy up your existing one; or you could even plant bulbs ready to attract bees and other insects next summer.
But if this sounds like a lot of hard work, don’t worry, doing nothing can also help: holding off pruning your hedges is a great way of helping wildlife without actually having to do anything. Leaving them until around February next year means the berries will be able to be eaten throughout the winter.”
There are a number of simple things that can be done in the garden to help nature now and in the coming months:
- Put up a nest box: Many birds such as Tits and Wrens use nest boxes as safe places to sleep through the autumn and winter. Plus, if it goes up now, it will be ready in plenty of time for next spring when birds are looking for a new home.
- Build an insect home: Bugs also need somewhere to spend the winter. Short lengths of drinking straws, hollow canes or plant stems, tied in bundles, make great shelters for Lacewings and Ladybirds. Putting off the pruning of borders and shrubs until early spring will also provide a home for insects through winter.
- Stock up the bird table: Birds use up a lot of energy keeping warm so winter is the most important time to make sure they are well fed. Bird seed mixes are available to buy but scraps will also do very nicely. The more variety of food provided the greater range of species are likely to be attracted.
- Plant a fruiting hedge: At this time of year traditional countryside hedges are full of blackberries, elderberries, rosehips and sloes, forming a supply of food for birds through the winter. Mimic the traditional hedgerow by planting a fruiting hedge.
The RSPB is running a campaign to help tackle the crisis facing the UK’s threatened wildlife. Giving Nature a Home is urging everyone to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside spaces. The charity hopes to inspire people across the UK to create a million new homes for nature.
If you want to purchase a bird box or bird table such as these for your CEMEX site, then please contact Sue.Lawson@rspb.org.uk