We are all feeling the heat at the moment as Britain is experiencing the longest heatwave recorded in 42 years. While some of us may be enjoying the warm weather, we need to spare a thought for the wildlife out there that may be really suffering in this spell of intense heat.
So here are some top tips for taking care of wildlife this summer.
This is great advice that we should all adhere to. However, animals may be struggling to find water at the moment, as their usual water sources are drying out. In addition to this, animals don’t sweat like humans do, so they will find it harder to regulate their body temperatures.
What can we do?
Leave out water sources for them! It’s a s simple as that. Fill up bird baths and water bowls then leave them round your garden. If you know of any other places where you think the animals might appreciate the water, then leave it there too, and keep it topped up!
For your pets, leaving ice water out for them is a great way for them to cool down, and some pets may even enjoy a paddling pool filled with a small amount of water, so they can sit in the sun but still feel cool.
Try and walk your dogs in the early morning or at dusk, as the hot ground is too hot for their paws and the heat in general is too much for our furry friends! NEVER leave them in your car.
For pond life, ensure the water level on your pond is topped up regularly so the animals that live in or visit your pond can feel free to move around and cool down when they need to. This will also allow them to move freely in and out of the pond if they need to.
In addition to this, you should install a water pump in your pond to help regulate the oxygen levels in the pond, as heated, still water has lower oxygen levels.
Plants need water too! Keep your plants watered. They provide food for wildlife and if your plants die due to lack of hydration, then any animals in your garden that use plants as a food source will have less food to eat!
You can also leave extra food out for our wild friends. Hedgehogs and birds, for example, will find it harder to look for earthworms as the ground is too dry for them to dig them up, so spare a thought for them too this summer, and leave some snacks in your garden for them – hedgehogs will enjoy cat biscuits and birds will enjoy seeds.
Stay shady! It is important to leave some areas in the shade in your garden. Plants and trees provide natural shade for wildlife, but your dogs may need a little shade too.
Either keep them inside if you think it’s too hot out or let them lay under garden furniture to help keep them cool.