As summer fades out, there's plenty of wildlife gardening to be done in August, including helping house martins before their return journey to Africa.


While it's tempting to deadhead many plants, it's a good idea to leave some to form seedheads, providing a nutritious food source for birds. Take a look at 10 berried plants for birds.

During periods of dry weather, or drought, it's important to leave dishes of water out for garden birds.

Discover more on this, plus other wildlife gardening jobs for August, below.

Leave seedheads to form

Verbena bonariensis
Light-purple verbena flowers

Leave seedheads on plants such as teasels, lavender and Verbena bonariensis, as they will provide food for birds and small mammals.

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Provide mud for house martins

House martin
A house martin collecting mud

Swifts and swallows will be making their way back to Africa this month, but house martins will stay to rear a second, or even a third brood. During dry weather, place a dish of mud in the garden that they can use to repair their nests.

Stop deadheading roses

Rose hips
Orange-red rose hips

Stop deadheading roses to ensure they develop hips that hungry birds can eat during the winter months. Here are some of the best roses to grow for hips.

Check hedges before cutting

Birds nest in hedge
Checking a birds' nest in a hedge is empty

Blackbirds and thrushes often continue nesting surprisingly late, well into August, so check your hedges for nests before cutting and wait until this season’s broods have definitely flown before you trim.

Once you're confident that all nests are empty, it's time to give them a cut - find out which hedge trimmers came out on top when we put them through their paces.

Leave food and water for hedgehogs

Wildlife gardening – help hedgehogs
A hedgehog eating from a dish on a lawn

Continue to leave out dishes of water and meat-based dog or cat food (ideally chicken flavour) for hedgehogs. The young hoglets need help fattening up before they go into hibernation in late autumn, when they might appreciate one of our favourite hedgehog houses.