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Five ways to help wildlife this winter

Five ways to help wildlife this winter

November 16, 2021

Although wildlife might be a little less abundant over the winter months, there are some really easy things you can do to help the hanger-ons survive the plummeting temperatures.

Food, glorious food

If you can’t indulge at Christmas, when can you?

Whilst some of us might struggle to stay away from the treats, we can help wildlife by leaving a few treats out for them.

Whilst it’s good to put out nuts, seeds and chopped fruit, it’s also important not to do it all the time, as this can make wildlife over reliant on one food source.

But, a small amount of different types of food can help birds, hedgehogs, squirrels and badgers survive colder and harsher wintry days.

Give them shelter

Stuck on what to give someone for Christmas? How about gifting someone an animal shelter?

Bird boxes, hedgehog homes, bug hotels and bee bricks not only make for a quirky, sustainable gift but can also help nature to recover.

Compost heaps and leaf piles also make for readily available shelter for hedgehogs, toads and frogs all looking to snuggle up to escape the cold.

If doing any jobs around the garden, be sure to check areas for wildlife – you wouldn’t want to disturb a resting reptile under a wood pile, would you?

Record what you see

By recording the fauna and flora you encounter over the winter, you’ll be helping scientists monitor species number and behaviour.

For instance, recordings showing a high number of a particular type of moth could be used by scientists researching the impact of climate change on wildlife.

The South Downs National Park is a partner of the National Parks UK LookWild project.

To take part, simply register an iNaturalist account, join the group and start submitting your National Parks species records via the app (Google Play) (App Store) or the website.

If you’re just starting out, we recommending download the Seek app (Google Play) (App Store) which uses your camera to identify species.

Provide fresh water

Bird baths are a great way to welcome seasonal visitors to your garden but just as good is leaving out a bowl or tray with fresh water.

Make sure to clean out regularly to stop the build-up of dirt and make sure the environment is healthy for birds and other animals coming out of their shelters for a quick drink before retreating back to bed.

Donate to help Nature to #ReNature

Earlier this year the South Downs National Park Trust launched their #ReNature appeal.

At the moment 25% of the South Downs National Park is managed for nature.

Our goal is to increase that to 33% by 2030.

By restoring nature here in the South Downs, we’ll be able to create new wildlife habitat.

Donate to help nature #ReNature in the South Downs