Enjoy the great outdoors throughout the winter
As it gets colder and rainier it’s easy to stay cooped up inside, but you shouldn’t let the weather stop you from spending time outdoors with nature. Not only will it make you feel happier, but you can also give our declining wildlife a helping hand while you’re at it. Dan Salliss, our Ecology Champion, has shared the below guidance on how you can help nature thrive during the autumn and winter.
A great time to plant
Autumn is a great time to plant things in the garden. During autumn and winter, plants take a break from growing up and out, and instead take some time to establish in the soil and develop their roots. This means they’re better equipped to grow in the spring and summer when it gets drier. Now is the best time to plant many shrubs and bulbs, such as lavender, daffodils, and crocuses.
It’s also the perfect time to put down wildflower seeds. Bees and butterflies are under serious threat in the UK, in fact, butterfly numbers are at an all-time low, so why not turn a plain patch of grass or soil into a haven for our flower loving friends. You can find out how to start a wildflower meadow on the RSPB website, or why not learn how to create a wildflower seed ball?
Snug as a bug
At this time of year, bugs and creepy crawlies slowdown their activity levels and look for somewhere warm to shelter, just like us (although they probably won’t be watching as much Netflix or Bake Off). You can play host to some tiny guests, by building a bug hotel. It’s a great way to reuse old or damaged building materials and garden debris, and will help insect species thrive in your garden
Did you know that there are over 15,000 species of fungi in the UK? They’re all so important, as they help break down biological matter, increasing nutrients in the soil for plants, and even connecting up roots of different trees so that they can communicate. Many of them absolutely love the cooler, wetter weather, so why not get outdoors and see what different kinds you can find? You don’t have to go far, as you’ll be able to spot many in your own garden, or local green space. If you’re unsure what to look for, The Wildlife Trust have put together a helpful guide.
Adventure is out there
“The most important autumn nature suggestion is simply get outside! Being outside in nature makes us happier, reduces our stress levels and improves our physical health”, explained Dan. “It can be difficult to find the motivation when its colder and darker, but I promise you’ll feel better for it. Spending time in nature also increases our appreciation for the environment, and that is needed now more than ever. So, take some time to experience the colourful autumn leaves, weird and wonderful fungi, and other shows that nature puts on at this time of year.”
If you want to find out more about inviting wildlife into your garden, organisations such as the RSPB or National Trust have plenty of information and guidance online. Why not try out a couple of the things we mention here as it gets colder? Let us know how it goes and what you see in your garden!