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
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 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 weston.iwitness24.co.uk