supporting wildlife this summer
Temperatures are reaching record highs, so here’s a few ways that you can support wildlife during the hot summer weather.
We can sometimes forget that water is just as important to wildlife as food, especially during summer droughts. Just by simply leaving a fresh bowl of water out in your garden you are providing garden wildlife with a lifeline.
We suggest to use a bowl with sloping edges and a rough texture. This allows the birds to grip on to the bowl with their claws. Ideally to water should be 2.5-10cm deep, this allows for different size species to have a drink and a bath too!
Bathing is very important for the birds as this keeps their coats clean, however in the hot summer months this is also a way for them to keep cool.
All garden wildlife needs fresh water, even the bees! To create a perfect drinking spot for the bees, simply fill a shallow dish with stones and pebbles and then fill with fresh water.
Make sure to only fill the water to below the stones/pebbles. This will give the bees a spot to stand on without getting their wings wet.
Food laid out between February and October will encourage visiting hedgehogs to return regularly. You could try leaving out food such as minced meat, fresh liver, tinned dog food (not fish-based), or even scrambled eggs! Remember to check and replace the food and water daily and dispose of food if not eaten.
Hedgehogs like milk but it may give them diarrhoea. So it’s best to give hedgehogs plain, fresh water each night in a shallow bowl. Source: RSPCA.
In the summer birds require high protein foods whilst they’re moulting. Good hygiene is vital and so sometimes feeding can do more harm than good. Super summer food options include:
- Black sunflower seeds
- Pinhead oatmeal
- Soaked sultanas, raisins and currants
- Mild grated cheese
- Mealworms and waxworms
- Seed mixtures without peanuts
The best way to supports bees and butterflies in summer is to plant nectar rich plants that they can feed on. Here’s a list of the best plants for summer nectar:
This can be used to form a low-growing hedge. Thrives in a sunny, sheltered position in well-drained soil.
Very easy to grow in almost any soil. Different varieties will flower in pink, red, purple, and white.
Easy to grow from seed, plant in well-drained soil. These can provide useful height at the back of a border.
Wallflowers make great bedding plants and will grow well in full sun or light shade.
In the winter our hedges are a great source of warmth and shelter for wildlife. However in the summer they provide a shady spot to rest and recuperate! It so important to check your hedge for nesting birds and hedgehogs before heavily pruning your hedges in the spring and summer months. Try to cut sections of hedge at different times, so there is always an undisturbed place for wildlife.
Wildlife hedges are often trimmed to an ‘A’ shape, which is thicker at the base and gets narrower at the top. This provides maximum protection for wildlife, while allowing light to reach the ground flora.
Wildlife hedging is also a fantastic way to supply wildlife with a food source. Take a look at our wildlife friendly hedging collection here.
Placing objects such as logs and rocks around the garden is super simple way to create a shelter for insects too!