It is surprisingly easy to do something to help garden and countryside wildlife throughout the year, from the warm and fresh summer months to the cold and icy winter.
In addition to providing a constant supply of fresh food and water for your garden wildlife, doing a few of the following tasks could make the world of difference to their survival.
Use strimmers with extreme care!
If you really have no alternative but to use a strimmer, then it is vitally important to check long grass and foliage beforehand. Dense undergrowth may be rigorously checked with a stick prior strimming. Always keep your eyes open for animals; be aware.
If you really must use a strimmer, CHECK for animals first, then proceed with caution. PLEASE take care, and check all areas where you think hedgehogs or other wildlife are likely to be sleeping BEFORE you start to use hazardous equipment such as strimmers, shears and mowers.
Don't disturb nests of chicks!
Never disturb a nest of chicks, hoglets or other wildlife babies. The mother may abandon or kill the young birds or animals if they sense they have been interfered with.
If you think the nest has been abandoned, keep a close eye on the nest from a distance to see if the mother returns. If there is no sign within a few hours and the babies are looking distressed, then place the entire nest in a cardboard box with holes and get them to a nearby wildlife centre or vet immediately.
PLEASE do not try to rear them yourself. Orphaned young birds and animals require specialised treatment and can die very quickly.
Do not feed bread or milk to wildlife
As with all animals, each species has a digestive system that is adapted to specific foods. A food type that is good for one animal may not be good for another. A good example of that is milk and bread. Some species such as hedgehogs and birds do not have the ability to digest lactose, so eating milk causes similar digestive problems to those seen in lactose intolerant humans, which can be extremely harmful to them. So please do not give bread or milk to wildlife!
Check bonfires before lighting!
PLEASE ensure you check your bonfire stack before you light it.
Leaf litter piles provide ideal sleeping places for hedgehogs, so be sure to search the pile by carefully lifting up the edge and shining a torch.
If you do find a sleeping hedgehog, carefully move it to an area a safe distance from the bonfire.
REMEMBER, REMEMBER, NOT JUST ON THE 5TH NOVEMBER!
Bin that litter when you see it!
Birds, hedgehogs, and other small mammals are frequently injured when they become entangled in small pieces of litter, such as string, plastic or elastic bands. Their legs and bodies may become entangled in rubbish, which in many cases can prove fatal.
PLEASE pick up small pieces of litter whenever you can. Every time you pick litter up from our beaches - and anywhere else it may be found - you could be saving a bird or mammal from encountering a life threatening situation.