Although changes to the lockdown rules might mean we can retreat indoors when friends or family come to visit, there’s still lots to keep us enjoying the great outdoors. Welcoming wildlife into our outside spaces is not only really important for our biodiversity and environment but also really lovely so we can get up close to the incredible creatures on our doorsteps, and in our lawns, and sitting on our fences…
We have a small hanging bird feeder to put fat balls into and the whole family love watching as birds come to feed right near our kitchen window. However our menu has proved extremely popular with a gang of sparrows who now devour anything we put out in a very short space of time! So I’ve been exploring other (cheaper!) ways of giving our feathery friends a bit of a treat including feeders made of pine cones (sadly both got stolen by our cheeky local squirrel), loo rolls (not our most successful attempt), and drinks cartons. We’ve also found that keeping a few basic shallow containers topped up with a bit of fresh water is much appreciated, although there are some great, creative bird bath ideas I’m hoping to try out sometime.
There are lots of fun ideas out there for bug hotels which I think essentially come down to having some wilder space or different kinds of natural materials around, but it seems that welcoming bees can be a little more problematic. So we’ve tried a simple, but specialist bee home and hope it will be comfy and safe for these little heroes of our ecosystem!
(SEPTEMBER 2020 UPDATE: I’ve now managed to make a bird bath with terracotta pots and tray, and a little bird from an antiques shop… I love the look of it tucked in amongst the herbs but think it might be too close to the house, or that the iron bird feels like competition… so far the birds still definitely prefer using pots and pans left out on the mud kitchen!!)