10 Ways To Make Wildlife Welcome in Your Winter Garden

As the colder weather draws in, it becomes more and more difficult for wildlife to find reliable sources of food, water and shelter. As a result of this, it is important that you try to make your garden as comfortable and as welcoming as possible for wildlife this winter. Not only will making your garden a type of safe haven be beneficial for wildlife, it will provide you with something to brighten up the dullness of your winter garden. Here are just 10 things that you could do:

1.Grow Fruit-Bearing Plants

Don’t worry if you have a small garden, his doesn’t mean you have to grow apple or pear trees. A simple bush or shrub that bears colourful berries will be enough to attract birds into your garden over the winter months.

2.Put Up A Nestbox

It is important that birds have somewhere to nest in the cold weather, and a simple nestbox either on a tree or in a sheltered spot in the garden will do the trick!

3.Provide Fresh Water

Falling debris from trees means that, within a couple of days, water put out for birds and small animals will become dirty. Replacing this a few times a week for them will ensure they have somewhere safe and clean to drink from.

4.Keep Food Topped Up

It is dangerous for animals to lose any weight during winter, as extra fat is necessary for them to stay warm. Ensure bird feeders are kept full and hang fat balls around the garden. Be sure to leave food at various levels in the garden so that all types of animals can access it.

5.Leave Some Corners Messy

It may feel odd, but you should actively avoid tidying at least a couple of corners of the garden. Small animals and insects will burrow in leaves, grass and other debris to keep warm and clearing these away will discourage them from coming to your garden.

6.Leave the Ice on the Pond

When the temperatures fall enough that a layer of ice freezes over your pond, don’t be tempted to clear it. The ice will create a temperature inversion within the pond, keeping wildlife underneath safe and content.

7.Install a Hedgehog House

Cats often pose as a threat to hedgehogs, but hedgehog houses with angled doors will protect them from this. It is important that the door is angled to prevent cats from entering, and that it is filled with leaves and straw as insulation to keep them warm.

8.Create a Small Hole in Your Fence

This may sound peculiar, but small animals (such as hedgehogs and frogs) won’t be able to enjoy your garden if they can’t get into it. The hole should be no larger than a CD in order to prevent foxes and badgers from using 

9.Create Log Piles

Log piles will encourage a variety of different insects into your garden. In turn, this will encourage various birds and even bats into your garden to feed off them.

10.Leave the Compost Unturned

Of course, it is important that you occasionally turn your compost pile, but you should do so very carefully during the winter months. Due to its warmth, small mammals, such as mice, tend to hide in these piles and turning too vigorously could harm them.

Do you have any more tips on how to make wildlife welcoming in your garden during winter? Share them in the comments!