Well it looks like it's our turn in the Midlands and South of the country to get some cold weather and really, if I am honest I think it is about time, a good frost will kill off all the germs and do the veg patch the world of good, all freshly dug and covered in top quality horse manure! but at the same time my thoughts go to the creature in our garden too.
Preparing for a cold snap is easy nowadays, with the three day forecast being pretty accurate, we can expect severe frost this weekend, and with clear skies some glorious sun rises to boot! so just a few minutes spent in making sure you have the right stocks for your garden friends, food water and shelter requirements is worth while doing.
Wild birds :- Use Ice Free natural anti freezing agent to prevent your bird bath and water feeders from freezing. Get high energy bird food in stock, plenty of suet, Mealworms, Peanuts to give the birds a boost in energy.
Hedgehogs :- There may well be the odd Hedgehog hanging around still trying to find a Hedgehog House for the winter. Hedgehogs only hibernate down to -1°C after that they will wake up and try to find somewhere warmer and this is the risky time for them as they are venturing out into the cold weather. If you think you have a hedgehog in your garden or under the shed, see if you can find some dry leaves, straw or hay to push into the hole (gently). Or you may like to buy a bespoke Hedgehog House, they are ready to go and provide shelter from frost, wind and rain for them. If you can leave a little food out for them, see if they take any, but beware of rodents, you don't want to invite rodents in for a meal if there is no Hedgehogs around, so it takes a little care in observing the area to see if the Hedgehogs are still active.
Toads :- we have three toads in our poly tunnel, they do a sterling job in the summer and mean we do not have to use slug pellets (can harm other wildlife) so I feel we owe them a little care too. We just make sure the poly tunnel door is closed firmly so the wind rain and cold can't get in. A little saucer of water just in case they need a drink to avoid them going outside and that is all they need.
Other mammals :- Door mice, Field Mice and other mammals, an old plastic or pot drainage pipe or similar, just fill it full of hay (we sell it or a pet shop will) and they will use it all through the Winter to make bedding and food, a good supply of water also should be available.