Would you love to support your local wildlife in Spring? If you would, there is a lot you can do as you prepare your own outdoor space for the warmer weather.
Here are our top tips for supporting your local wildlife in the Spring:
Practise Non-Toxic Gardening
You might be tempted to get out in the garden and use strong chemicals to kill weeds, protect your new plants from pests and to help boost the growth of your plants and garden. Unfortunately, a lot of legal chemicals are actually very bad for local wildlife. By using those chemicals on your garden you can kill the supply of food the local animals use, or put the poison into the food chain and slowly kill the animals that feed on the insects and smaller animals in your garden. You may also kill bees and butterflies with certain chemicals.
Instead, try to practise non-toxic gardening as much as you can, which will help promote a much more planet-friendly outdoor environment which is safe for all local wildlife, and your own pets and family too.
Clean Your Bird Feeders
Cleaning bird feeders and bird baths is a great way to support birds in Spring because it helps stop them getting and spreading infections, which can damage their population. You can find out how to clean your bird feeders here.
Look But Don’t Touch
One of the best ways that we can support local wildlife in Spring is to actually leave the animals alone. So many of us are well meaning rescuers and will intervene with what we think are animals in need, when in fact they are perfectly safe. The best thing to do is become aware of the general ‘rules’ around animals you are likely to see in Spring and then you will know what to do if you are concerned. Here are some handy links relating to different animals:
Provide Wild Bird Nesting Material
As animals are mating and raising offspring during this time of year it can be helpful to leave them out extra nesting material to use. Little bits of wool, natural string and feathers you find can all be helpful items to leave inside an empty bird feeder for birds to collect. If you groom your pets their hair is a warm and snuggly addition to the nest the birds create. If you choose to leave human hair out just remember to cut it into one cm pieces as it can actually get tangled around the birds feet and cause injuries if it is any longer.
Include Wildlife Friendly Features As You Redesign
If you are giving your garden a bit of a makeover come spring, there are lots of things you can do to help wildlife with the way you design it. Adding bird baths and bird feeders is always a great idea, as long as they are away from fences and trees that could make them easy targets for cats. Hedgehog highways are another great change to make to your fence – why not add a little doorway for these endangered creatures as you give the wood a lick of varnish or paint?
Other great changes or additions could be:
Do Not Disturb
It can be tempting to get out in the garden and start cleaning and tidying everything up in Spring. The problem is that not everything is awake just yet, and you run the chance of disturbing animals before they are ready to come out. Instead, focus on getting your garden furniture out of cheap self storage by Storing and cleaning it up ready for use, as well as planting your bulbs and seeds and giving the lawn its first mow. The snoozing animals will thank you for a few more days in bed!
Add A Bird Box
Nesting boxes are a great addition to your home if you have an appropriate place to put them. It gives the birds a really easy way to raise their young safely, especially if there are any late storms that could put their nests at risk. You can find tips on where to put a nest box in your garden in this handy video.
Create Insect & Bee Hotels
Insect and bee hotels are of benefit to the animals that use them, as well as the animals that feed on those insects too while you need to be careful about what to feed squirrels. You can buy ready made insect and bee hotels, but it is much more fun to make them if you have a spare afternoon to do crafts with the kids. You can find out how to make insect and bee hotels here.
Make Your Pond More Animal Friendly
If you have a pond there are lots of animals that will be using it for all kinds of different needs. The best thing you can do is make it widely safe and friendly to all different animals, especially in Spring when they are more likely to be active. A little ramp will help should a hedgehog fall in, or if a snake uses the pond and needs to get out easily. Avoid using netting at all because it is a real wildlife killer and is never a good idea. You should also use non-toxic water products, place partial shade over the pond and include some healthy pond plants to boost the quality of the water. Lastly, a gradient of stones going into the pond will help birds come and use it for washing and cleaning.
“Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
By making some small changes to the way that you do things in your own garden in Spring, you can do a great deal to help your local wildlife for a better garden, better planet and a general better feeling of doing your bit to help the plants, animals and insects do well.