Call to help Horsham district wildlife as sun beats down

editorial image

The RSPB is asking people in the Horsham district to help wildlife in their gardens this week, as the hot weather shows no signs of cooling down.

While the UK enjoys the sizzling temperatures, experts from the RSPB fear the heat could be causing birds, hedgehogs, bees and other familiar garden wildlife to suffer.

The nature charity is appealing to people to put out fresh, clean water after reports that wildlife is struggling to cope.

One call to the charity’s wildlife enquiries line reported blackbirds and pigeons trying desperately to wash and drink from a barely-dripping hose.

Blackbirds like to bathe frequently in water to stay cool and keep their feathers in prime condition, bathing also helps keep all birds cool in summer.

Samantha Stokes, from RSPB south east, said: “While we all revel in an unusually sunny summer, our garden wildlife might not be having such a good time. The hot weather could be causing natural water sources to dry up, meaning birds, bees and hedgehogs could be left without anything to drink.

“Turning your outside space into a home for nature by doing simple things like topping up your birdbath, creating a make-shift pond from a washing-up tub or putting down a saucer filled with water could offer a vital lifeline to some of our garden favourites that are already fighting against declines.”

The RSPB is also advising people to put out supplementary food as the hot weather may mean natural supplies, like worms, become scarce.

Samantha added: “When it’s particularly dry, worms tunnel right down into the soil, meaning they become out of reach to the wildlife that usually feasts on them, such as blackbirds, robins, hedgehogs and frogs.

“If the hot, dry conditions carry on we may see wild plants start to die, meaning bees and butterflies will find it hard. If that happens, our gardens and the well-watered plants in them will become even more important to these insects.”