Please take extra care when tidying up the autumn garden. This is the time when our wildlife neighbours are settling down for the winter. Disturbance can be disastrous right now since it may force wild creatures to use up precious extra energy as they seek out an alternative hiding place. What seem like dead stems, overgrown climbers or unsightly fallen leaves to you, and suitable only for the compost heap, the bonfire or the wheelie bin, may well be over-wintering habitat for your garden wildlife. So, as you are tidying for the winter, look for places where twigs and logs, flower stems and fallen leaves can provide hibernation habitat as they slowly decompose. If you and your garden just can’t cope with such pockets of mild untidiness, put dead material through a shredder, store it in a compost bin, and use it as garden mulch next spring.
Autumn is the perfect time to create a space that you and your local wildlife can enjoy. A list of ten autumn ideas from planting bulbs in a window box to building a rockery can be found on the BBC website here. With further tips here. Choose something to suit your patch.
[Item provided by the Redbridge Group of the London Wildlife Trust]