Winter is a challenging and exhausting time for many species of local wildlife. Thanks to the lack of natural food sources, it doesn’t take long for wildlife to become hungry and exhausted, eventually lacking the energy needed to hunt or scavenge.
That’s where we humans come in. It’s our job to live in harmony with our local wildlife and support the biodiversity that’s present in our area. This is especially important during the winter months, and there are several ways in which we can so easily help the birds, squirrels, creepy crawlies, hedgehogs, and many other species that we’re so lucky to have in our neighbourhoods. If you want to know the best ways for helping your local wildlife during winter, keep reading.
Tips for helping your local wildlife during winter
1 Supply high-energy food for your local wildlife
Many species find it extremely hard to find enough food to keep their energy levels up during winter. Without energy, your local wildlife species will find it difficult to hunt or search for food. This is where humans can step in – give yourself the task of helping your local wildlife during winter and follow these simple tips.
It’s so easy and effortless to provide vital calories and nutrients to the local wildlife that visits your garden. The simplest way is to hang up a few bird feeders and choose a good quality bird food that provides your local wildlife with fat and nutrients to keep them happy and energetic throughout the winter months. Look out for bird foods that contain fatty ingredients, such as peanuts, sunflower seeds, mealworms, and yellow millet. These ingredients will ensure that your local birds are in tip-top condition for when spring finally rolls around again.
2 Don’t forget to provide water as well
When it comes to helping your local wildlife during winter, providing high-energy foods is a great start, but don’t forget that many species also find it difficult to find a source of water. If you live in a particularly cold area of the UK, you’ll know that snow and frozen lakes are not uncommon during the winter, therefore providing your garden wildlife with a source of fresh drinking water could be a life saving act.
If you want to go all-out, you could purchase a water bath and install it in your garden. This is a fantastic way to encourage more wildlife into your garden and provides a source of fresh water for birds, squirrels, and other animals. For a cheaper, more sustainable option, plant pot saucers with a few pebbles at the bottom also make great bird baths. These sources can also be placed lower down so that other animals can also access the water.
Helping your local wildlife during the winter could even be as simple as breaking the ice that’s blocking access to your garden pond. To do this, heat a saucepan and use it to melt the ice. Do not pour boiling water over the ice or use force to shatter the ice as this could harm fish, newts, frogs, and any other animals that may be living under the surface.
3 Leave the leaves alone
I know that as soon as autumn hits, your garden becomes one huge pile of dead leaves. The temptation to sweep them up and clear them away is high, but before you start doing that, think about your local wildlife. Leaf piles are popular hibernating environments for small mammals such as hedgehogs and mice. Disturbing these hibernation spots can cause harm to these mammals, but also disperse the tiny insects that are also resting there, waiting to become food for birds and other creatures. It’s best to leave your leaf piles alone until winter is over if you want to ensure the wildlife in your garden has the best chance of survival.
Final Words On Helping Your Local Wildlife During Winter
This post features quick and easy ways to help your local wildlife during winter. It focuses on the basic needs of the wildlife in your area: food, water, and shelter. Without these things, the wildlife that you love seeing in your garden will find it challenging to get through the difficult winter months and you could start to see diminishing numbers as time goes on. Helping your local wildlife during winter can be done with very little effort on our part, so why not start today by hanging up some bird feeders or providing a source of water?