Enjoying Autumn

Autumn is here, and although the days shorten, the changing colours of the countryside are very enjoyable.

One of the nicest walks in this area is Chettisham meadows and is best accessed from Little Downham rather than the A10 entrance.

This is the time when we should start to leave food out for the birds. Although Autumn is a good time for natural food, they need to know where food can be found in the winter me. Many of our little friends will have travelled to warmer climes, but we have the return of fieldfare, red wings and bramblings; not to men on the numerous waterfowl. In this area especially we will see the return of the Bewick and Whooper swans who return to Welney. One can never go too many times to see the bird feeding at Welney Wetlands. The feed by flood light is beautiful.

At home, we can also help the mammals who hibernate in the autumn by not being over obsessed with a tidy garden. For instance, hedgehogs need wild gardens to live in, and log piles and compost heaps will provide both shelter and food. Hedgehogs are great friends to gardeners as they help keep the slug population in check and our fine holsters are never eaten by slugs. I like to think it is our resident hedgehog earning his keep.

While they are awake, hedgehogs need to travel around, so please ensure your gates have a gap underneath so hedgehogs can pass under. With so many children absorbed by their iPhones and tablets they may have very little understanding of nature. Please encourage your child to watch nature in the garden by feeding the birds, or even build a small shallow pond which will encourage all sorts of water life for them to watch. Remember to provide a little ramp so the hedgehogs can drink safely from it!

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