HELPING HAND: Durham Wildlife Trust is urging folk to help wildlife, such as Robins and tits, through the colder months  Picture: Mark Hamblin
HELPING HAND: Durham Wildlife Trust is urging folk to help wildlife, such as Robins and tits, through the colder months Picture: Mark Hamblin

WITH a cold snap widely predicted for later this month, the Durham Wildlife Trust is urging nature lovers to spare a thought for the county’s wildlife.

The temperatures drop so quickly at this time of year, meaning that the smallest creatures struggle to keep warm and the bigger ones have to work harder to find enough food to get through the night.

Fresh water for drinking and bathing freezes and grass dies off and other sources of food get buried by snow and ice. The trust is urging people to take a few easy steps to help the wildlife on their doorstep.

Feed the birds

Birds find it hard to source food in winter, especially as the berries and seeds have begun to rot and many insects are hidden underneath the frozen earth, so leaving some seed out for feathered friends is always a good idea.

Look out for pond life

If you have a pond in your garden, try not to let it freeze over as this will be harmful to wildlife hibernating in the bottom.

If it does freeze over, gently break the ice by popping a hot pan on the top. Be careful and don’t pour hot water and don’t break the ice with force.

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Leave rotten wood

Rotten wood is good. If you’re doing some gardening, leave a pile of wood in a corner, this provides a great spot for over-wintering insects like the ladybird. Bigger piles can also provide homes for creatures heading in to hibernation.

Provide fresh water for thirsty animals

Even though it’s cold outside, wild animals still need to drink and bathe just as they would in the summer.

One free simple way you can help wildlife is by providing a clean source of drinking water every day.

Abbie Osguthorpe, communications assistant at Durham Wildlife Trust, said: “Winter is a vital time for wildlife and Durham Wildlife Trust would urge as many people as possible to follow our tips of ways they can help wildlife through the colder months.

“Some of these tips are free and easy, such as supplying a fresh source of water for wildlife, and yet they make such a big difference.”