As we head into the winter months and the temperatures drop, the birds and insects that call your garden home need to be nurtured over the winter. Autumn and winter is a tricky time for wildlife that live outdoors, with colder weather, lack of food and changes in sheltering habits providing challenges.
By just following our tips for your garden, you can protect the most vulnerable of garden wildlife and help give wildlife a safe haven to hibernate from the cold.
Did you know that there are about 10 million species of insect in the world and they all need somewhere to live?
Having a bee and bug hotel in your garden is a great way to see and look after wildlife during the winter months. Insect and bee hotels are a great way to help our solitary bees, by providing much-needed shelter in our gardens. By encouraging the right kind of bugs and insects to our outdoor spaces, in return they will pollinate our flowers and keep down unwanted pests during spring and summer.
Our range of Wooden Insect Hotels are available in a number of sizes and features bamboo tunnels, pine cones and wood shavings to provide a home to a large range of friendly bugs, insects and provide shelter for bees. Ideal for beetles, ladybirds, lacewings, spiders and butterflies, this insect house provides much needed shelter and protection over winter, as well as acting as a beautiful artistic centrepiece for your garden.
We recommend you place your hotels in a quiet corner of your garden that’s sheltered from bad weather. Try to find a spot in your garden that has both shade and sun. Insects like to feel safe and cosy whilst bees thrive in the sun so a bit of both is best - west or south facing is ideal.
Plant some nectar-rich flowers close to the bug hotel to help attract butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects. Consider blooms such as honeysuckle, verbena, roses, clematis, foxgloves, hollyhocks, geraniums, lavender and edible herbs with flowers, such as thyme, chives and borage are all guaranteed to bring pollinators to your garden.
Winter is, without a doubt, a harsh season for garden birds and it is vital to put out food and water for them over the cold snap. Many spend months building up their fat reserves ahead of the cold snap so it's important to supplement their diet by feeding the birds energy rich food and fresh water. Choose energy-rich bird food that contains suet, nuts and oil-rich seed such as sunflower hearts for your bird feeder or table.
We have a wide range of feeders, bird tables and ground feeders to suit all garden birds. We recommend filling your bird feeders with different types of food to attract different avian visitors. The easiest and simplest bird food to choose is an all year-round complete mix which contains a range of high energy blends of seeds, nuts and essential nutrients. Suet feeds are also perfect for fuelling birds in winter so look for suet cakes and energy balls in stores or even make your own!
Water is essential in this period for garden birds, the freezing weather often means that many water sources will be inaccessible. Our range of water bowls and baths for birds should be checked and have their water replaced every day so our feathered friends can both drink and bathe.
Hang nesting boxes on trees or fence posts to provide warmth and shelter, our bird houses are ideal for small garden birds such as the tit family, robins, nuthatches as well as sparrows and wrens.
At this time of year, hedgehogs need our help for shelter and protection as they hibernate for winter. Hedgehogs are big fans of cat food so it's recommended that you leave some cat biscuits out on a saucer for them to enjoy. Put out a shallow dish of water to ensure any visiting hedgehogs stay hydrated.
For nesting hedgehogs, we advise leaving a wild area of the garden for them to rest. Let fallen leaves, long grass and other garden debris accumulate to provide a protected place for hedgehogs to spend the daylight hours.
Our hedgehog houses will mimic their natural habitat, offering these garden visitors a safe space to survive the long winter months. Just place it in a dry, sheltered spot, and then cover with a thick layer of dry leaves and twigs.