RSPB is asking residents to help wildlife survive the hot weather
While Londoners enjoy the sizzling temperatures, the Royal Society for Protection of Birds has issued a hot weather warning asking people to help all wildlife in their gardens.
The nature charity is appealing to people to put out fresh, clean water as the hot weather could be causing natural water sources to dry up. This causes suffering to birds, hedgehogs, bees and other familiar garden wildlife. Imagine spring without bird song. Imagine summer without a bee’s busy buzz. 56% of UK wildlife is in decline and time’s running out to protect what’s left.
One call to the charity’s wildlife enquiries line reported blackbirds and pigeons trying desperately to wash and drink from a barely-dripping hose. Blackbirds in particular like to bathe frequently in water to stay cool and keep their feathers in prime condition.
Turn your outside space into a home for nature by doing simple things like topping up your birdbath, creating a make-shift pond from a washing-up tub or putting down a saucer filled with water.
A bonus for providing water in your garden is that you will be able to appreciate the colours and fascinating behaviour up close.
Create a wildlife haven in your garden
The RSPB is also advising people to put out supplementary food as the hot weather may mean natural supplies, like worms, become scarce.
When its particularly dry, worms tunnel right down into the soil, meaning they become out of reach to the wildlife that usually feasts on them, such as blackbirds, robins, hedgehogs and frogs.
If the hot, dry conditions carry on we may see wild plants start to die, meaning bees and butterflies will find it hard. If that happens, our gardens and the well-watered plants in them will become even more important to these insects.
Create a personal plan
In addition to birdlife, Personal Plans include activities to help frogs, toads and newts, butterflies and moths, and bees, For example, make a butterfly banquet, open a bird café, create nature highways and byways, sew a poppy patch, build a bug hotel. Help bees by growing flowers and shrubs that are full of nectar and pollen, giving them a rich feeding ground throughout the year.
Wildlife doesn’t just sing – it trumpets, booms, drums and churs. But who does what? Join the RSPBs Chorus Hub to learn more about nature’s rock stars.
Related article: How to create a wildlife-friendly garden in summer