How to help wildlife in your garden in Weston-super-Mare this winter

PUBLISHED: 14:59 21 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:59 21 December 2016

You can help the foxes which come into your garden.

You can help the foxes which come into your garden.


In the closing lines of the BBC’s Planet Earth II series, Sir David Attenborough issued a plea for people to look after the world’s wildlife. From here in Weston-super-Mare, it may seem a daunting task, but here are some tips on how you can help the natural world.

Birds need extra help in the winter months.Birds need extra help in the winter months.

Secret World Wildlife Rescue, in East Huntspill, has revealed how people can do their bit to help nature, simply by putting some food out in their gardens.

Laura Benfield, head of animal care services at the charity, said: “At this time of year, most wild animals are building their reserves to survive the cold season.

“The best way to support our wildlife is to supplement their diet with enough food for them to build their reserves but not so much they become reliant on it.”

Blue tit sitting on a branch in winter.Blue tit sitting on a branch in winter.


Birds are the most common animals to find in your garden. The best way to help them is to avoid cutting down trees and bushes while they still have berries on, as these are valuable food sources.

Birds enjoy peanuts, sunflower hearts, wild bird seed and dried mealworms, all of which will help to sustain them while food is harder to come by.

Always check for hedgehogs if you are starting a bonfire. (Picture: Janet Miles).Always check for hedgehogs if you are starting a bonfire. (Picture: Janet Miles).


Meat-flavoured cat food is a hedgehog’s favourite treat, but dried mealworms and sunflower hearts work equally well. Secret World also suggests leaving a pile of logs in an area of the garden for hedgehogs to hibernate in.

Always remember to check for hedgehogs if you are starting a bonfire.

Squirrels are inquisitve creatures (Picture: Mike Lane).Squirrels are inquisitve creatures (Picture: Mike Lane).


To help any resident squirrels, leave some shelled nuts out for them to bury and eat over the winter months. They are inquisitive creatures so may also enjoy a small animal hammock or a chew toy.

Secret World also recommends squirrel mix food, particularly the Ark Wildlife squirrel mix.

Foxes enjoy peanuts in the winter (Picture: Ian Wade).Foxes enjoy peanuts in the winter (Picture: Ian Wade).

Foxes and badgers

And if you are lucky enough to have badgers and foxes visit, they are surprisingly fond of peanuts.

They both enjoy dog meat and biscuits, and weaning badgers would also like custard creams.

Have you had an animal encounter around Weston? If you take a picture, you could upload it to

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Weston Mercury. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Weston Mercury