Caring for Nature over Summer - 3 things you can do in your own backyard

Caring for Nature over Summer - 3 things you can do in your own backyard

In the cold winter months when nature’s food sources are scarce, our thoughts naturally turn to caring for wildlife. ‘Tis the season to put out the sugar water and get to making the lard & seed balls.

Surely nature can take care of herself in the warmer weather?

Yes, there is more food about in summer, but with hot weather come a different set of challenges for wildlife and there are simple things we can do in our backyards to help.

water dish for insects

1. Provide Water – both for drinking and for bathing.

   Birds get thirsty just like us, and are very susceptible to mites over the warmer months. Bathing frequently helps to rid them of these irritating creatures. Provide bathing water and keep it fresh - no-one likes to bathe in dirty water.

   While birds will drink from this bath, it is good to also have a shallow saucer of water for insects to drink from. Bees especially need water as they fly vast distances and get thirsty, plus they use water inside the hive.  Place a few stones in the saucer too, as these provide ‘islands’ to take off from. If the water is too deep their wings get soaked and they will drown.


2. Food

Baby Tui on feeder

     There can still be a need for food supplements over the warmer months, especially if there is a drought; in dry spells there is little moisture for plants to take up so nectar in flowers dries up too. At Earthlore we continue to keep the sugar water filled up year round, but it is a much weaker solution in summer than it is through the winter months. This discourages reliance as sugar does not provide the nutrient that nectar does, but provides a stop-gap if needed. Chopped fresh fruit is another good option as it provides food as well as juice.


3. Shade

    There’s nothing better than a shady tree on a hot summer’s day, for people and for wildlife. Plants release moisture from their leaves, so the air is always cooler around a tree. If you have room plant a mixture of trees and shrubs in your garden, or just shrubs if space is limited, with smaller plants underneath. Dense planting combined with mulch over the soil surface serves the dual purpose of providing shade for small creatures, which in turn provide food for birds - plus it keeps the weeds down. So less time spent weeding, and more time for you to relax under that shady tree.

"This article is included in Twinkl's Eco-Friendly and Sustainability campaign, and is part of their article Some great ideas to be more sustainable in 2021

Posted by Gordon Thompson on January 29, 2021