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5 ways eco-friendly ways to help your local wildlife this summer

With summer not too long away, it's important to learn about the ways wildlife might be affected by the rising temperatures

This summer, you'll no doubt be spending some time in the garden, laying back with a cool drink in your hand. But, while you do, spare a thought for the little creatures in your garden that might not have it so easy.

 

The RSPB's State of Nature report 2019 reveals that 41 per cent of UK wildlife species have declined, which means we must do everything we can to protect our local wildlife.

 

In the summer heat, some species can struggle to find water and food, which can put added strain on their already decreasing numbers. But, luckily, there is something you can do to help — and you might even be able to reduce your household waste as you do!

 

 

By recycling certain items instead of throwing them away, you can help protect your local wildlife by keeping their habitat clean. So, grab your old plastic bottles and containers and put them to good use, because SkipsAndBins.com have put together five ways you can help birds, insects, and small mammals using objects you have around your home.

 

wildlife

 

Lay our small dishes of water and food

Our local wildlife can struggle in the heat as they search around for a refreshing drink to keep them cool. Unfortunately, this can be difficult as a heatwave can cause natural water sources to dry up. To give wildlife a nice place to rest, relax, and take a little drink, why not leave out a small dish or container of water for them?

 

Try to put out at least one shallow container and one deeper one to cater to various sizes of animals, such as hedgehogs and squirrels. Empty vegan spread tubs, yoghurt pots, and plastic takeaway containers are ideal.

 

If you like, you could also put out a small dish of food for your local wildlife. Crushed up dog biscuits are a good option for hedgehogs, and squirrels will eat a variety of nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, and chopped carrots and apple are good options, and you can even leave out your vegetable peelings for animals to eat, to stop them going to waste.

 

 

Just remember to clean out the water and food dishes each day to avoid spreading diseases.

 

Hang a water feeder for birds

Birds love to bathe in the summer. Not only does a bath help to keep them clean and cool, but it can also provide a refreshing drink. However, if you don't have a bird bath, you can easily make a DIY water feeder using an old plastic bottle, a plate, and a small piece of wood.

 

Just follow the instructions below to make your own DIY water feeder.

 

  1. Remove the cap from a plastic bottle (a 500ml bottle would be perfect) and glue it onto an old plate or plastic saucer.
  1. Drill a hole in the centre of the cap and through the plate, then fix them together with a screw.
  2. Glue a small piece of wood to the bottom of the saucer. This will give it more stability and provide somewhere for the birds to stand.
  3. Drill a few small holes in the neck of your plastic bottle.
  4. Tie a piece of wire around the bottom of the bottle to make a handle.
  5. Fill the bottle with water and screw it into the cap that you've glued onto the saucer.
  6. Hang your water feeder on a branch or washing line and wait for local birds to come.

 

 

 

Make your own bird feeder

While your DIY water feeder will give birds a refreshing drink, don't forget they need to eat too! Dry conditions can make it difficult for birds to find worms in the soil, so it's a good idea to put out your own birdseed to help these little creatures along.

 

While you can buy a bird feeder from most garden centres, you could also reuse a few items around your home to make your recycled version. Using a plastic bottle, some string, and a couple of sticks, you can provide a perfect feeding area for your local feathered friends.

 

Follow the steps below to make your own DIY bird feeder.

 

  1. Remove the lid from a 500ml plastic bottle and use a pin to place a few small holes in the cap. This will provide ventilation and stop the inside of the bottle gathering moisture.
  2. Make two small holes in opposite sides of the bottle towards the base. These will need to be wide enough to fit a stick in each of them, so you may need to use scissors to make the holes big enough.
  3. Push two small sticks through the holes on each side of the bottle. Leave around 5cm of stick pointing out to give birds a place to stand as they feed.
  4. Cut a feeding hole just above the sticks. It might be helpful to draw around a 5p coin to give you an idea for size.
  5. Make two small holes in the neck of the bottle and feed in a piece of string to make a handle.
  6. Fill your bottle with bird seed and hang it on a branch or washing line.

Create a makeshift mini pond

Ponds can be a fantastic wildlife haven and a great home for various insects. Plus, birds will love drinking and bathing in the water. But, if you don't have a pond, don't worry, because you can make your own from containers you have around your house.

 

You can use anything for your makeshift pond, including an old plastic container, bucket, fish tank, or even an old sink. Anything that holds water would be ideal.

 

Then, all you need to do is fill it with gravel and rocks of various sizes to give wildlife a place to hide. You can even add some small pond plants if you like. It's also a good idea to lean a stick against the side of the dish going into the water, to give birds and other animals a ramp to help them into and out of it.

 

If you're really committed, you could even dig a small hole in your garden and place your dish inside it so your pond is at ground level, making it easier for small creatures to access.

 

Make a wildlife shelter

Animals need plenty of places to hide from predators and cool off in the heat. If you've done a spot of gardening this summer, then you could recycle your leftover twigs and leaves to make a natural wildlife shelter. You can turn almost anything into a shelter, from a traditional log pile to more intricate structures.

 

Why not spend an afternoon making a dead hedge from your garden waste? All you need to do is knock a few sturdy poles into the ground to create a rectangular frame. This will form a barrier and stop your twigs from rolling away. Then, lay any recently pruned branches and leaves you have lying about vertically inside the frame, and wait for local wildlife to come along.

 

 

"As temperatures are set to soar, you're no doubt planning a relaxing weekend in the garden," says Scott Hawthorne, managing director at SkipsAndBins.com. "But, while we have plenty of ways to cool down, our local wildlife isn't so fortunate. And when numbers of certain species, such as hedgehogs and birds, are rapidly in decline, it's vital that we all do our bit to protect them in the heat."

 

"There are so many simple ways to help British garden animals, whether it's by providing extra water and food or a cool place to rest. What's better, you can easily recycle your old household objects to save local wildlife — it really is a win win situation!"

 

"Instead of throwing away your plastic bottles, containers, and garden waste, have a think about where you could reuse them. A little DIY is great fun, and a lovely way to keep kids occupied during the summer holidays too. So, why not have a go yourself?"

 

 

By SkipsAndBins.com

 

About SkipsAndBins.com
SkipsAndBins.com offers pay-as-you-go skip hire and wheelie bin collection across the UK. The company works closely with a network of suppliers and doesn't rely on any complicated contracts, taking the hassle out of waste collection.
For more information please visit https://www.skipsandbins.com/

VeganLife

The lifestyle magazine written by vegans for vegans.