Making a few small changes to your garden can both attract, and, help you care for the country's wild population this autumn
As temperatures drop, food will become an increasingly scarce commodity for wildlife. So, what can you do to help your garden visitors? Well, GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have compiled eight tips that are guaranteed to help you attract some feathered friends to your outdoor area, while adhering to their basic needs.
The colder months will mean it's harder for birds to get food, so they will flock to gardens that provide them with a ready supply of food. Whether you hang a bird feeders or opt for a DIY solution, there will be options for every type of garden, regardless of your budget.
You should ensure you have a variety of food on offer - seeds and nuts will be a staple, while high energy fat balls are a great option as it gets cooler outside.
Think about the birds when you come to throw away your leftovers. Bread has limited nutritional value, but out of date apples and fruit will be popular snacks for blackbirds, thrushes and similar.
Bird baths will not only encourage birds into your backyard but also provide a place of shelter. If you merge a bird bath with another water feature, you then have the additional benefit of creating a real talking point in your garden. You just need to ensure you do not place one where the birds will feel threatened by cats or other predators. Another great option will be a small pond, as these attract wildlife too.
One of the best ways to encourage birds to your backyard will be providing them with a place to shelter and nest. You can either buy one or, if you're feeling creative, why not take the chance to make your own? All you need to remember is that the size of the hole you make will determine the birds that you attract to nest there.
Place your bird box in a north-easterly direction and make sure predators will not be able to reach it - you should make it easily accessible, as it will be a good idea to clean it out annually. If you have no joy with enticing birds, you can try moving the boxes around every now and then too.
It's great to see a bird use a nest box that you have put up - it's even more satisfying to see them create their own natural nest site. To do this, simply provide hedges which will offer dense cover.
Birds will normally live around plants where they can find food, roost and perch, so it will be a good idea to provide similar vegetation in your own back garden. Plants which offer food for birds will be a good place to start, with native berry species such as Holly, Ivy and Rowan all easy to grow. They also provide dense vegetation, meaning they are great for nesting.
If you get the chance, you should think about leaving a patch in your garden to go wild - this encourages grubs and bugs whch are great food for hungry birds. Another alternative will be a pile of cut logs.
It will be important to keep your feeders, tables, baths or nests as clean as possible, as birds can otherwise catch diseases from each other. You can reduce the risk by cleaning up and ensuring you don't leave too many leftovers.