Winter is a time when it’s easy to forget about all the life that’s out there. But all those critters haven’t disappeared, they’re just sheltering. Winter is in fact a perfect time to think about how to give our plants and wildlife a boost in this coming year.
The colder months are tree planting season in the UK. It’s an exciting time to plant something with the knowledge that it’ll be a home to insects and birds for years to come. Trees are also great for us humans who benefit from the shade, oxygen and beauty they give us.
Bees aren’t buzzing around just now but we need to think about what they’d like to feed on in spring to give them a head start. This goes for other insects too. Unfortunately these critters need a helping hand because lots of their habitats are disappearing. We can help by encouraging lots of different plants and flowers to grow for as long as possible throughout the year. You can plant herbs, bulbs and flowers in the garden or simply in a pot on an outdoor windowsill. However sometimes the easiest thing to do is nothing! Avoid mowing lawns and verges in May and June so the long grass and flowers can give them shelter and food. This is often a really beautiful time as you never know what is going to pop up!
Birds are now looking for high energy food to keep warm. Some food supplies like seeds might be running low for them. Why not set up a bird feeder so they can get a good meal.
Different birds eat different things at different times, so it’s important to find out how to feed birds safely. The RSPB has some great advice on what, how and when to feed birds. It doesn’t need to be expensive. Two of my favourite ideas so far are making a feeder out of an old teapot and hanging it up, and sticking your windfall or ‘past-it’ apples on top of a hedgerow.
I love hearing busy birds and seeing what life emerges in spring. Even more I love being an active part in creating a healthy world for them (and us!)
I would love to hear what you do for plants and wildlife. Maybe you’d like to write about it in the next edition?
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