Winter wildlife in the UK is a wonderful spectacle to see. From hibernating hedgehogs to brilliant birds, there is a wide range of friendly critters out there to spot during the colder seasons.

If you’re taking to the outdoors for a spot of winter wildlife watching, be sure to use our BirdSpotter map to record any birds you see!

As temperatures plummet and the nights become darker, it’s time to think about how to prepare your garden friends for the change. Winter wildlife in the UK will need adequate food supplies and shelter to see them through this tough time of year.

With our handy tips, not only will you be able to make sure your garden birds are prepared for the colder months; you’ll also be rest assured that the other winter wildlife is being cared for too!

The messier, the better!

If you’re thinking about tidying up fallen leaves and twigs, you might want to save this task until after winter if you want to welcome more wildlife into your garden.

Whilst your garden may look untidy to you, your friendly garden visitors will see a wealth of places to hide and hibernate; making it the perfect winter wonderland.

Creating a pile of leaves in your garden can provide a great hibernation haven for hedgehogs. Whereas insects like to crawl in any empty nooks and crannies, so building a pile of old logs and bricks will make them feel right at home.

Keep your feathered friends full

Although birds don’t hibernate, it’s still difficult for them to find food during the colder months. Keeping your feeder stocked up with fantastic food such as sunflower seeds and suet pellets, can keep your garden birds coming back for more and help to see them through the winter.

For other winter wildlife, be sure to leave out plenty of fresh water and food to keep them nourished throughout the colder months.

Protect your pond pals

If you have a pond in your garden, it’s important to make sure it doesn’t freeze over to ensure your frogs and toads beneath the surface are getting enough oxygen.

You can do this by melting a hole in the ice with hot water. Alternatively, leaving a ball in your pond and allowing it to float on the surface will prevent it from freezing over.

Create cosy hiding spaces

The arrival of winter means that most of the trees lose their leaves, leaving fewer shelters and spaces for animals to protect themselves from the cold.

To make furry friends such as bats and hedgehogs feel welcome in the winter, consider installing a bat box or hedgehog nest box to provide a safe space for them.

In short, making sure your visiting birds have plenty of wild bird food, shelter and water will be more than enough to see them through the colder seasons.

For more advice on how to care for your birds in the winter, visit our Seasonal Birdwatching Tips page to learn more!