Northumberland Wildlife Trust has offered some simple suggestions for helping animals this winter.
When winter comes, the wildlife in your garden will suddenly find precious food sources are running low and conditions are less than comfortable.
With a little diet provision and some shelter, chances of survival suddenly become much improved.
So, when allocating Christmas gifts, spare a thought for species outside and spend a little time making your garden more wildlife-friendly.
• Feed the birds – put out high-energy foods like fat balls and seeds, and provide fresh clean water. Remember, once you start feeding them, keep supplies topped up so they don’t burn energy coming to your garden only to be disappointed.
• Let your garden go a bit wild – immaculately tidy gardens with trimmed grass and no debris provide little shelter or food for wildlife. Unruly ivy and long grass provide countless nesting places for insects, beetles, spiders and more – also food for some garden visitors.
• Provide shelter – piles of leaves and other garden litter can provide much needed cover for small critters, such as voles and ladybirds, and you might even have a hedgehog move in.
• Don’t forget amphibians – they seek out crevices to squeeze into, so leaving piles of rocks or logs around the garden can help.
For more information, visit the Wild about Gardens website.