Autumn Wildlife Gardening

As autumn is slipping gradually into winter in the northern hemisphere, I was trying to think of some small wildlife gardening projects you can do with a toddler. My little one was pretty disappointed after all the plums and apples had disappeared and composting and mulching is not exactly an enticement. And the watering can season is also over. Scrunchy leaf piles are a lot better.

And then you may want to try out some of these easy-to-do projects.

1) Build a mini hibernaculum

This is giving them a helping hand to find suitable winter quarters and it is easier to make than a complete insect hotel. It’s probably more like a country B&B and not the five-star luxury leaf pile hotel (see below) but a plant pot filled with leaves can be welcome short-term shelter for invertebrates.

Bury the filled pot half in the ground and angle it to prevent it from getting waterlogged. Add more protection by adding a layer of leaves and sticks above it.

Hibernaculum

Hibernaculum

2) Build a mini cairn

Choose large stones and rocks and make a pile in your border. It is best to find a shaded spot so toads won’t feel they have entered a sauna and leave lots of gaps for them to find their way in. To make it even more hospitable and some soil and moss although moss and liverworts will colonise the stones of their own accord.

First, make a circle and then start building up layers to make a pile. Try and achieve a stable, triangular shape.

Next, fill in the gaps with soil and moss. This is not only going to provide shelter for toads and newts, but they will also naturally help you to keep the slugs and snails in check.

Species to look out for are natterjack toads and crested newts.

Cairn

Mini Cairn

3) Leave leaf piles and logs

I happened to find an earthworm and slug nursery underneath it, so I left it. Our garden provides so much shelter for birds and they can gorge themselves on hawthorn and rowan berries and have plenty of nesting places in hedges and walls so it wasn’t really needed.

Birds

Old Nesting Box

Slug

Invertebrate wildlife #1

Earthworm

Invertebrate wildlife #2

Have fun!

 

Josephine x

3 thoughts on “Autumn Wildlife Gardening

  1. Dear Josephine,

    Great ideas! I will see what I can do best in my garden kind regards UF > WordPress.com > Littlegreenfootpath posted: “As autumn is slipping gradually into winter in > the northern hemisphere, I was trying to think of some small wildlife > gardening projects you can do with a toddler. My little one was pretty > disappointed after all the plums and apples had disappeared and com” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment. It helps precious wildlife and it’s a great way to teach young children about it from very early on 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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