Your monthly guide on how to encourage wildlife into your garden all year round.
WILD BIRDS & MAMMALS
During this time of year Sloe Berries are ripening on blackthorn bushes for birds (and humans too!) to enjoy. Refrain from placing nest boxes or pockets near where you feed or water the birds, as they like to keep their sleeping quarters private! Wild bird feeding/feeders are in demand during this season so enjoy watching sparrows and finches decide who eats first!
As hedgehogs take to hibernation, use the winter to think about how you can make your garden better for hedgehogs – can you cut an access hole in the fence for wild hedgehogs to find refuge in your garden for the winter? You can make a leaf pile for hibernating mammals and ground-feeding birds overwintering in the UK. And DON’T forget to check under bonfires for sleepy hedgehogs before lighting!
The meadow brown butterfly overwinters as a caterpillar and speckled wood butterflies overwinter as a larvae or pupae, which is also the overwintering for the orange tip. It is important to keep an eye out for these before chopping back any winter vegetation. Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone and Comma find dark crevices to overwinter as an adult.
Make sure to inspect interactive bee nesters! Bumble bee and wasp colonies have died out and the queens will be seeking out over wintering habitats, so be sure to put bee food in accessible areas to keep up and top up bee energy reserves.