Caring for Autumn Wildlife in the Garden

Published on November 1st 2018
This is often the time when we’re clearing up the garden, raking leaving and composting dead material. But the weather is cooling, wildlife is getting ready for winter and there are a few things you can do to help out the little guys.

Build a wildlife home

When you’re clearing debris from borders, instead of clearing it into a bin or compost, push it to the back of the bed, hidden away it will provide shelter for invertebrates and insects.
Leaving a pot on its side is hidden away in the corner provides shelter for larger invertebrates.
If you can spare some logs from the woodpile, a few piles up in a secluded spot provides shelter for all sorts of life.


If you’re not composting your leaves, rake them up and leave them in a pile for invertebrates.


This is often the time we’re looking after our compost heap, and they’re a great winter habitat for queen bees and invertebrates. To help out the little guys, make sure there are entry points at the bottom. If you’ve got a plastic bin, put it up on bricks so that hedgehogs can get in (compost will still touch the ground but there is a space for little ones to burrow in).

Flowering ivy

Instead of clearing ivy, leave it to flower. The later flowers provide a great source of nectar for many insects including bees. If you want to go one step further, here’s how to create a bee hotel


You may have read the recent series on pond care and maintenance over winter. Consider leaving part of your pond natural, with a thick, silt bottom, for hibernating amphibians.
Placing a tennis ball in the water will make sure there's always a breathing hole and escape if it freezes over.

Coming indoors

Insects like ladybirds and butterflies may try to hibernate in your home as the weather cools. When the heating turns on it can wake them, so you’re apparently swarmed by insects.
If you can, gently move them to a cooler place, the garage or shed still provides shelter at a cooler temperature.


If your birds have been happily hunting and foraging over summer, it’s time to top them up over winter. Here's how to create a wild bird feeder.

What wildlife have you seen in your garden this autumn?

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