After Christmas has passed, many of us look towards the spring and summer months. This time of the year can be a little depressing, so whether we start planning holidays, or events for later in the year it gives us something to look forward to. A great way to beat the January blues is by spending time in nature. Although the weather is cold and the days are still short, in nature things are starting to happen, and by getting out into the garden, we then give ourselves that connection to nature, even in these cold months.
One of the best things that you can do in the garden during the winter is to give wildlife a helping hand. Many animals struggle at this time of the year, the plunging temperatures and scarcity of food makes things difficult, and with many species declining, helping them out is a great way to give our native wildlife a good chance of survival.
Putting out food for the garden birds is a great way to help them – and you will also attract lots of birds to your garden too, which are a joy to watch each day. You could even take part in the RSPB garden birdwatch, which helps to get an idea of the bird populations in the UK and for there to be more of an understanding of the risks to certain species. Putting out a variety of foods and feeding areas will attract a greater range of different bird species – and possibly also some squirrels!
As well as food, shelter is something else that many animals look for at this time of the year. From insects like bees, to mammals like hedgehogs, having a safe and sheltered spot to wait out the winter is crucial to their survival. You can buy special houses for different creatures, or alternatively you can learn how to make your own, which is a lovely project to do at this time of year.
Providing a garden that is a good place for wildlife is a year round activity, and throughout January many gardeners are planning what they want to plant in their gardens – there are many types of plants that are good for wildlife, and now is the perfect time to do some research into this and decide what you want to plant in your wildlife garden.
You can order plants from somewhere like this online garden centre Kent based Simply go Gardening. You can also buy seeds and bulbs which you can plant and grow from scratch, which is a really rewarding and fun activity, that children can also get involved in and enjoy. Bees and butterflies are both reliant on various plants, so taking some time to research the different species and the plants that they are attracted to can mean that you get a wide variety of visitors in the summer!