Earlier this year leading housebuilder Redrow launched a new nature friendly plan, in partnership with the charity The Wildlife Trusts, to enhance homeowners’ connections with wildlife and protect and encourage nature where they build.
Redrow enjoys a long-standing partnership with The Wildlife Trusts, which underpins its commitment to embrace biodiversity on all its developments. The new strategy will see Redrow support both existing and new nature trails so wildlife, including hedgehogs and barn owls, can move freely through developments and the wider environment.
The aim is to inspire communities to connect with nature, so they can benefit from all the joys that the great outdoors can bring, such as improving our mental health and wellbeing.
So how you can support our native species such as hedgehogs and birds through the colder months and create your own wildlife garden?
Ideas include making your own hedgehog house to planting a holly tree (as berries are a favourite food source for birds), to making your own suet and seed bird feeder, to providing a bird bath for drinking and bathing (but remember to keep it unfrozen).
Creating a bird feeder
To create the perfect bird feeder you will need:
- Dried out pine or fur cones
- Suet or lard
- Variety of bird seeds
- Peanuts and raisins
- Grated cheese
- Warm up but don’t melt the suet/lard. Cut it up into small pieces and put it in the mixing bowl.
- Add the other ingredients of your choice to the bowl. Mix them together with your fingertips until the fat holds the squidgy mess together.
- Loop the string around the top of the cones. Then pack the sticky bird mix around the cones with your hands, creating a ball shape.
- Put your cones in the fridge for an hour or so. After that, they’ll be ready to hang up.
Understand the basic principles of a hedgehog home
Now is the perfect time to make your hedgehog home ready in time for late autumn when hedgehogs are house-hunting.
Every hedgehog house should have a large compartment which is insulated from cold and heat, with a smaller entrance corridor which will keep your hedgehogs safe from badgers, dogs or other predators.
Once built, place it in a quiet part of your garden, preferably against a wall or fence. Make sure the entrance to the house does not face North or North East, thus avoiding the cold winter winds.
Leave some extra clean bedding materials in a bundle by the ‘front door’ for the hedgehog to freshen up the home for themselves!