The sun seems to be finally getting its hat on, or at least dusting it off. It’s not warm yet, but Spring is definitely on its way. The birds are singing and the snowdrops are going strong, and daffodils and crocuses are poking their heads out. It’s a wonderful time of year!
March is a good time to be planting new shrubs and perennials which can provide food and shelter for a huge range of species.
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Try to chose a mix of varieties that will provide year round food for the birds. The nectar-rich flowers of buddleia will attract bumble bees and butterflies, and hawthorn will provide food for insects and berries for birds. Adding some climbers like honeysuckle could even attract bats! For more inspiration, see Plants and Flowers.
As it gets warmer, hedgehogs and frogs will be becoming active again after their hibernation. Hedgehogs will be hungry, so you can give them a helping hand by leaving food and water out for them. Meaty dog food is best – never put out bread and milk as it is bad for their tummies. Find out more about helping hedgehogs in our video here.
It’s also the time to stop pruning hedges, as this can disturb any birds that are already nesting. Early March is your very last chance to put up bird boxes, so if you haven’t done it already, get your skates on! Birds like to check out potential homes before settling in, but it’s worth putting them up even this late. Even if they don’t use them this year, they’ll have a nice earthy welcoming smell by next year so the birds may well decide to move in then! Have a look at our bird box article and video for more advice and inspiration. Keep those bird feeders topped up too – you can find out more information here.
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It’s a good idea to provide nesting material for the birds by placing tiny twigs, natural fibres and moss raked from your lawn in an easy access place, possibly near their feeder. Some birds will even use hair in their nest, so empty out your hairbrush, or indeed your dog’s hairbrush, and leave that out too! That way, on those windy March mornings when your friends comment that your hair looks like a bird’s nest, you can take pleasure in telling them that they are correct.