As the weather begins to turn much wetter and colder, this time of year can become rather challenging for our garden wildlife.
With many different mammals such as hedgehogs, bats and dormice entering into hibernation, other animals such as rabbits, shrews and frogs instead slip into torpor, which is a slightly milder form of hibernation. With wildlife lacking energy and with food harder to find, there are a number of ways that we can help and support our garden wildlife throughout the colder months. From providing dry and sheltered sleep spots to vital sources of food, let’s explore some quick and simple ways that you can support your garden wildlife this autumn.
1. Cosy shelters
Small garden creatures such as hedgehogs and toads are prone to finding shelter under piles of leaves and twigs. Hedgehog houses, bug hotels or small piles of branches out of sight are all perfect places for these small animals to take shelter from the chillier autumn weather. So, when walking through the garden make sure to take extra care and keep an eye out for these little visitors when tidying your garden in the colder seasons.
2. Pond clearance
At this time of year, frogs tend to head towards the bottom of garden ponds in preparation for the colder months. When clearing your pond during the autumn season, make sure to remove as much debris as possible, as decaying plant matter can become stuck in frozen ponds which can then become toxic to the wildlife that lives beneath the surface.
3. A wilder garden aesthetic
During the autumn/winter months, sources of food can become much harder for wildlife to hunt down whilst gardens transition into the dormant season. Therefore, if you don’t mind a slightly looser garden look then make sure to leave your rose hips and seed heads on as these can provide vital sources of food for birds and can also add a beautiful touch of winter interest to your outdoor spaces.
4. A helping hand for birds
Unlike other animals, birds do not hibernate however due to the harsher conditions they do benefit from an extra boost of food and energy to help them survive the colder seasons. Providing them with a safe sheltered space and spot for a quick snack, integrating a series of nesting boxes and bird feeders are a delightful way to help birds and attract them to gather within your garden.
5. Make the most of your pumpkins
Are your spooky pumpkin faces slowly beginning to fade? Once Halloween has passed and your pumpkin creations aren’t looking so healthy, instead of letting them go to waste why not transform them into a beneficial pumpkin bird feeder?
6. Tailored planting
Filling your garden with glorious colours and textures, planting schemes can also be extremely advantageous for garden wildlife too. Designed by our specialist planting team, we frequently design schemes to include native plants and shrubs that will enhance your garden whilst also supporting local biodiversity. Hawthorn trees and sarcococca shrubs are just two planting examples that we often use to provide wildlife with an essential source of food whilst framing a dreamy seasonal scene.
Brimming with blankets of leaves, branches and other garden waste, compost bays are wonderfully insulated spaces that attract a variety of animals during the hibernation period. Rewarding your garden with dressings of nutrient-rich compost, this organic matter is also a fabulous way of supporting wildlife at this more challenging time of year.
Looking to adapt your garden into a beautiful landscape that gives back to the local environment? Get in touch today to find out how our skilled garden design team could transform your outdoor spaces with floral vibrancy and texture.