How to Attract Wildlife to your Garden this Winter

Winter presents a number of obstacles to British wildlife, who often have to find somewhere safe to hibernate. As well as this, food can become scarce for species such as butterflies, birds and other insects.

To attract wildlife to your garden during winter, it is best to start this process in autumn. However, it’s never too late to start these tasks, as caring for wildlife is important wherever you live and whatever the time of year.

Even just performing a handful of the following tips will help you with attracting native animals to your garden this winter!

1. Birds

Bird Bath

Keep your bird bath topped up, clean and free from ice. It’s important to provide a place for birds to bathe as they need to keep their feathers in good condition.

Bird Box

Small birds will use bird boxes as shelter throughout the winter months as well as nesting there in the spring. Setting one of these up facing between north and east, so that it’s shielded from direct sunlight and winds, will help to attract birds all year round. Ensure that these bird boxes are out of reach from cats, squirrels and other predators.


Bird Feeder

Food is scarce for birds in the winter, so buying a bird feeder and keeping it topped up is really important throughout the season. In particular, foods high in fat and calories are healthy winter treats, such as a range of seeds, nuts, cheese, suet or lard. As well as this, we advise that you buy high quality bird food, as lower quality food often has a higher proportion of nutrient poor grains that are only edible for much larger birds.

2. Hedgehogs

Hedgehog House

Since hedgehog numbers are declining in the UK, shelter is crucial for a hedgehog’s survival through winter. Either building or buying a hedgehog house and placing in a quiet garden spot is a great idea!


As well as hedgehog houses, hedges also provide a safe spot for hedgehogs before hibernation. If you don’t have one, why not consider getting one? They’re beneficial for privacy and provide year round colour.

Hedgehog-friendly Fences

Sometimes hedges aren’t suitable for your garden, in which case ensuring your fencing is hedgehog friendly is key for wildlife to enter and exit your garden. To do this, make a hole under your fence or gate, roughly 5 inches.

3. Insects

Plant Late-flowering Plants

Nectar and pollen are commonly in short supply during the winter, so planting late-flowering plants will provide insects with nectar once others have finished flowering.

Butterfly Box

Supplying insects with a butterfly box will allow insects to hibernate over the winter away from cold temperatures and frosts. This place will also benefit insect eggs, larvae and pupae.

4. Pond Life

Ponds can be an amazing way to encourage all sorts of wildlife into your garden. Keeping your pond uncovered throughout the year can benefit a variety of species, from frogs to hedgehogs. By leaving the pond uncovered, birds will be able to bathe, while also finding insects to feed on. Hedgehogs also enjoy a dip every now and then, so by installing a small ramp, you will ensure that any passing hedgehogs will be able to get in and out of the pond easily.

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The above article was published on 27th January 2022, and is subject to change and further guidance.