Most garden wildlife is still be hibernating in February, but you may spot early bumblebees or hedgehogs that have emerged early in mild weather. They will have gone without food for months, and will be hungry.
The best way to attract more wildlife to your garden is to create habitats where wildlife can feed, sleep and hibernate, such as digging a pond, growing plants for bees or making a making a log pile. Once you’ve created a few wildlife havens, why not install a wildlife or nature trail camera to find out which creatures come and visit.
More on wildlife gardening:
- Garden wildlife jobs for April
- Six key features of a wildlife garden
- Garden wildlife identifier: beetles
Browse our list of February wildlife gardening jobs, below.
Leave food for hedgehogs
Leave out water and meat-based dog or cat food for hedgehogs that have come out of hibernation early in mild weather, as they’ll be hungry. Leave the food out from dusk and cover or discard any that’s left first thing in the morning to prevent flies from laying their eggs in it. We’ve put together a roundup of the best hedgehog houses, to provide them with their ideal habitat. Here are a couple of our favourites:
- Buy Garden Life Hedgehog House at Thompson & Morgan
- Buy Wildlife World Hogilo Hedgehog Home at Amazon
- Browse hedgehog food on Amazon
Clean out nest boxes
Clean out nest boxes to make way for prospecting birds, which usually start looking for places to raise their young in mid February. It’s never too late to erect a new nest box – a sheltered spot facing north-east is the best option. Stuck for spare time? Not to worry – we’ve researched some of the best nest boxes to put up in your garden to attract a range of species. We’ve also found a selection of bird box cameras so you can get a closer look at your feathered friends as they raise their young, some of which are listed here, too.
- Buy Gardenature Side View Bird Box Camera at Robert Dyas
- Buy RSPB Nest Box Camera at RSPB Shop
- Buy Green Feathers Wired Bird Box 2MP Camera with Audio at Amazon
Plant a wildlife hedge
Buy bare-root plants to create a mixed, native wildlife hedge. Species such as dog rose, guelder rose, hawthorn, hazel and wild plum make fantastic hedges, providing food, shelter and breeding opportunities for a huge range of species.
- Buy dog rose hedging from Thompson & Morgan, Crocus and Van Meuwen
- Buy hawthorn hedging from Thompson & Morgan, Van Meuwen and Crocus
- Buy hazel hedging from Thompson & Morgan, Crocus and Van Meuwen
Buy crocuses and primroses
- Buy primroses from Primrose, Suttons and Dobies
- Buy Primula vulgaris primroses from Crocus and Suttons
- Buy crocus from Thompson & Morgan, Crocus and Suttons
Avoid turning the compost heap
Even if conditions are mild, avoid turning the compost heap until April. Frogs, small mammals and insects may be hibernating within, and any disturbance could harm them. Thinking about using a compost bin? We’ve put a variety of models on test, so you can buy in confidence. For ease, we’ve listed the best buys from the test here:
- Best buy: Blackwall Green Compost Converter
- Best buy: Modular Compost Bin
- Best buy: Green Johanna 330 Litre Hot Composter
- Best buy: Hotbin Mk. 2 Composter
Don’t forget to feed birds
Leave a variety of protein- and fat-rich foods for birds every day, which they can turn to as and when they need to. Read our comprehensive guides to nutritious feeds, bird feeders and bird tables, or shop via our quick links here:
- Buy Extra Select Premium Wild Bird Food on Amazon
- Buy RSPB Favourites at RSPB.org.uk
- Buy RHS Complete Seed Mix Bird Feed on Amazon
- Buy Ring-Pull Large Bird Feeder at Amazon
- Buy RSPB Ultimate Easy-clean Seed Feeder and Guardian at RSPB
- Buy Open Bird Table at RSPB
- Buy Fineway Nordic Bird Table Feeder at Amazon