It is tempting for people to tidy their gardens in autumn but we often take this too far. You can easily help wildlife by leaving as much tidying up as possible until the very end of the winter months. This is the time of year to take the opportunity to add new wildlife features to your garden such as a log pile or wildlife pond. Try adding plants and hedges that will attract more wildlife to your garden like hazel or hawthorn. Sunflower heads and thistles should be left to die off naturally, and place in your wildlife area, as extra food for birds and other wildlife.
Our top four wildlife gardening tips for autumn are:
• All kinds of insects will crawl into standing plant stems, so leave them to dry out - they will also look good covered in frost and spider webs.
• To provide shelter for birds, avoid cutting hedges until the end of the winter, this will give birds, like fieldfare and redwings plenty of time to eat the berries as well.
• Try to resist the urge to cut back ivy that is growing on walls and fences, the foliage will provide a habitat for insect-eaters such as tits.
• Don’t clean up fallen leaves, instead spread them over your flowerbeds. They provide a rich mulch and birds like thrushes and blackbirds will like foraging in them for food. Spiders and snails like to overwinter in damp leaves.
Autumn is an important season for the wildlife garden and birds will begin to feed more intensely on the feeders, so hygiene is now crucial. Clean your feeders and tables regularly by soaking them in Safe 4 Disinfectant or Vanodine.
Most importantly now is the time to enjoy your autumn garden so weather permitting, venture outside and marvel in the transformation of colour and natural changes.