Helping Wildlife this Winter

Explore Kent
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Explore Kent

Winter can be a very difficult time for wildlife, with plummeting temperatures and scarce food. So we want to share with you some really fun and easy ways to give the wildlife a helping hand. Whether that be how to protect and look after them or to help supply them with some winter food!   Not only will you be helping the stunning Kentish wildlife stay healthy and happy throughout winter, but it may also encourage more wildlife into your garden all year round!

Here are 5 easy ways you can help wildlife this winter…

  1. Let your garden go wild – Leave undisturbed wild areas in your garden, let your grass and bushes grow to create shelter over the winter and leave your compost heaps to become a welcoming home for toads, grass snakes and slow worms.
  2. Break the ice – If you have garden ponds, ensure you make a hole in the ice to allow your pond creatures to breath. Do not break with force or tip boiling water onto the ice, simply place a pan of hot water onto the surface.
  3. Feed the birds – birds may find it difficult to find natural foods such as berries or insects, so by us putting extra food out will help them. Provide a range of seeds, fresh unsalted peanuts, and table scraps such as cheese and fruits.
  4. Provide fresh water – clean water and food will encourage visiting hedgehogs to return regularly to your garden.
  5. Attract garden visitors – Putting small amounts of appropriate treats will help encourage wildlife to visit your garden through the winter.

For foxes: put cheese, boiled potatoes, chicken, bread, or fat scraps out at dusk.

For squirrels: Squirrels do not hibernate, instead, they catch food during winter, often nuts and chopped apple, beans, carrot, or spinach.

For badgers: Badgers have a tough time finding their favourite food – earthworms – when the ground is frozen. Provide them with lightly cooked meats, cheese, peanuts, and fruit.

Over the winter months, it becomes harder for birds to collect natural foods, so we have some great top tips to help you keep the beautiful birds stay full this winter!

  • Know Your Birds! – different species eat different things, make sure you provide the right menu for your diners- find out what to feed birds with the RSPB bird identifier.
  • Use your leftovers – Some of our own food can be good for birds (and around this time of year we have a lot) for example – fruit cake or mince pies, dried fruit, unsalted nuts or even apple and pears past their best.
  • Keep water in birdbaths – birds need to drink and bathe every day, even when it’s cold outside!
  • Keep it clean! – dirty bird feeders and bird tables can spread diseases. Make sure you clean them regularly to keep your visitors healthy and happy!
  • Location – keep your table somewhere; quiet, safe, and open and sheltered.
  • Invest or create – buy or create your own fat blocks, alternatively entice a range of birds with their favourites, peanut cakes for starlings, insect cakes for tits and berry cakes for finches.

In addition to helping out the birds through the winters months, you can also keep the children occupied and educated Why not try out some of these activities which help protect the birds and wildlife in your garden…

Creating fat cakes for the birds in your garden! 

Create a hedgehog café! 

Build your own birdbath!

Build a minibeast hotel!

We hope that we have given you some great tips to help the Kentish wildlife throughout the winter months!

To make the most of the beautiful season of winter why not try out some of our hand-pick winter walks which give you the best opportunities to experience Kent in Winter!

When visiting any open space during winter, please bear in mind the current government restriction and keep safe and a 2-meter distant.

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