• Parish Administrator

Eco Blog 3: Bird Cake and Hedgehog Houses


Hello everyone! I hope everyone has had a good week and been enjoying the sunshine of early February! As February can be a challenging time for wildlife, this week I will be talking about just that and about how to make bird feeders, hedgehog houses and a few tips on how to attract wildlife to your garden!


You might be asking, why is wildlife so important? Well, by conserving wildlife, we're ensuring that future generations can enjoy our natural world and the incredible species that live within it. Each species are vital for ecosystems to thrive. Sadly ecosystems have been adversely affected by environmental and human influences.


We can start by looking after the wildlife around us and making sure we do everything we can do to protect it. You can do that even in your own garden, no matter how small it is!


Here are some ideas, I hope you will get some inspiration and you will take some of these away and maybe come up with your own ideas, I would love to see all of your creations! Have an amazing week and appreciate the beautiful wildlife around you when you next go outside.


Best wishes, Chiara xx


Bird feeders


Bird Cake

Don’t worry, no baking is required. This quick and easy treat is packed full of energy to keep birds going, especially important in cold weather. Design your own recipe or use whatever’s to hand.

Ideal ingredients

· sunflower hearts

· peanut pieces and other bird seed mixes

· dried fruits softened with water

· crumbled or grated cheese

· cooked rice and other leftovers

· breadcrumbs.

Things to avoid

· uncooked rice

· salted nuts or other foods

· whole nuts or fruit which could choke.

Method

· Combine your chosen ingredients in a bowl and add softened lard or dripping

· Mix together into a firm paste. For best results you’ll need to get your hands in there – a great activity for kids, if a bit messy!

· Pierce the bottom of a clean yoghurt pot and poke a length of string through

· Knot securely on the inside of the pot so that it hangs upside down like a bell

· Fill with the fat mixture and hang outside


Hedgehog houses


What you’ll need

Your hedgehog house can be as simple or sophisticated as you like. Here's what you'll need if you want to try your hand at something similar to the homes you can buy in the shops:

· A large wooden wine crate

· One length of 15cm x 2cm untreated timber, which is 1.2m long. Make sure the wood is from a sustainable source

· 25mm galvanised nails

· 1m length of hosepipe

· A jig saw, drill and hammer

· 25mm drill bit.


How to make a hedgehog house


Once you have ticked off these items and enlisted some helping hands, work through the steps below:

1. Make the tunnel that will form the entrance of your hedgehog house. To do this, cut your sustainable timber into four separate lengths that are all 30cm long. Nail these together, lengthways, to form a tunnel. 2. Put down your tunnel and grab the wine crate. Using the jig saw, cut an entrance hole into one side of the crate, at the base. The hole should measure 11cm x 15cm. 3. Attach your tunnel to this entrance hole, nailing it from the inside of the crate. 4. Drill a hole that will fit the hosepipe into the back of the crate. Make the hole near the top, with the hose resting on the ground outside - that way air can get in but not rain. The hosepipe will ventilate your hedgehog house and keep them feeling cosy. 5. Finally, place the top back on the crate, but don’t nail it shut! You’ll need to take it off and tidy up the house every year or two.


How to attract wildlife to your garden: 5 top tips

1.Grow wild

Let nature take its course to create a more attractive environment for all things wild. You don’t have to leave your plot to develop into a small jungle – wildlife will thank you for just a small corner, border or planter.

2. Plant trees and shrubs

Research has shown that gardens are more attractive to wildlife if they have trees. And those trees can bring a host of other benefits too, from reducing noise and flooding to fighting climate change.

3. Create a ready-made cosy home

If you want to attract a particular species, a ready-made home can look especially appealing to any wildlife passing through.

4. Offer a water source

Water is crucial for wildlife. Making some available in your garden could be a lifeline, especially in extreme weather.

5. Serve an extra meal

One of the best ways to persuade a variety of wildlife to your patch is to give them access to an easy meal. Ensure there are enough dried worms, fat, seeds and nuts to keep the furry and feathered ones happy.

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