Purple crocuses blooming in terracotta pots

Garden wildlife jobs for February

Find out how you can help wildlife in February, providing food and shelter for a variety of mammals, insects and birds.

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.

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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.

More on wildlife gardening:

Browse our list of February wildlife gardening jobs, below.


Leave food for hedgehogs

Wildlife gardening jobs - leaving out food for hedgehogs
Wildlife gardening jobs – leaving out 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.


Clean out nest boxes

Cleaning out a bird nest box with boiling water
Cleaning out a bird nest box with boiling water

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.


Plant a wildlife hedge

Trimming roots before planting a dormant hedge cane
Trimming roots before planting a dormant hedge cane

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 crocuses and primroses

Purple crocuses blooming in terracotta pots
Purple crocuses blooming in terracotta pots

Buy pots of flowering crocus and primroses to feed bumblebees roused early from hibernation.


Avoid turning the compost heap

A compost heap
A compost heap
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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.


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.  

Blue tit. Photo: Getty Images.