Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
How are you coping with our very wintry weather? Keeping warm is paramount for us while temperatures are low so spare a thought for all the wildlife out there that does not have the benefit of central heating!
For those of you who saw the marvellous ‘Winterwatch’ on TV last week, you will remember seeing the wildlife coping with some very harsh winter conditions in Scotland. Now we have that very cold weather here and we need to think about helping our local wildlife to survive.
It is easy to feed the birds in your garden, on a small patio and even on a balcony if that is the only space you have. The very small birds such as sparrows and blue tits need lots of protein and fat to keep their tiny bodies warm through the night and help them roost together to limit heat loss. If you have nesting boxes in your garden, several small birds may squeeze together inside to survive the night.
At one time, we were always told only to feed the birds in winter but now that so many habitats have been lost and natural food is unavailable to the birds, we need to feed them all year round. Our constant use of pesticides and nitrate based fertilisers has made our soils devoid of the organisms that sustain our wildlife and where woodland and hedgerows have been removed, our wildlife has nowhere to live.
Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.