How to keep wildlife safe in the heatwave

I am a very heat intolerant person. I’ll happily moan about the hot summer weather and I don’t care who it annoys because you know what? Hot weather makes me feel ill. It makes me dizzy, it gives me palpitations, it exacerbates all the dangerous cardiac symptoms of my chronic illness and anyone who insists that I should be obliged to enjoy hot weather can do one.

This year, the UK has been “enjoying” (read: suffering) from extreme Mediterranean temperatures. I live in the driest county – East Anglia – and we haven’t had a single, solitary drop of rain for nearly 2 months. It’s been between 20-30 everyday and this week the office has been 32 degrees! I happen to have unwisely chosen this summer to be pregnant, so that’s also making me hot, sweaty and intolerant.


Our garden birds have been bringing this year’s young to our feeders, and that’s at least one thing I’ve been happy to see, but I am worried for them. I can’t put down water because the cat will get them. How are they keeping hydrated? How are farmland birds getting at worms in the parched earth? While the hot weather has been good for some species – reptiles and butterflies  – it has been bad for others, including amphibians and birds. Not to mention the devastating wild fires that have spread across moorland and farmland, which will have had a huge impact on the flora and fauna dependent on them.

So how can we look after wildlife in the heatwave?

  1. Leave out water dishes (make sure they are regularly cleaned and topped up and placed in a shady spot away from the hiding places of predators.)
  2. Leave out another water dish for bird baths – they need to keep their feathers clean and it helps to refresh them.
  3. Watch out for sleeping hedgehogs when you mow the lawn (there’s a brilliant poem by Philip Larkin on this matter; you can read it here.)
  4. Make a pond from a washing up bowl to give a cool, watery habitat for frogs and toads. The RSPB has some great advice on how to do this – you can read my experience of creating a garden pond in this blogpost.
  5. Keep your plants watered – wild plants can die in this heat, making our garden flowers even more attractive to pollinators.
  6. Don’t trim your hedges (you shouldn’t this time of year anyway!) as they can provide vital shade. In particular, let the ivy grow.
  7. Create nature highways between your garden and others. This is good advice for all year round but it really comes in handy in a heatwave to make it easier for hedgehogs and other animals to move between habitats in the hunt for food.
  8. Know which local animal charity numbers to ring if you see an animal in distress – the RSPCA website is a good place to start.
  9. Don’t forget pets! Take dogs for walks in the mornings or evenings and not in the midday sun. If it’s very hot, avoid hot surfaces like pavements as these can burn the dog’s paws. Cats will take care of themselves but make sure they have water, food and shade and keep the fleas at bay.

I hope this advice proves helpful! How are you keeping cool?

 

 

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Binoculars I rely on

Finding the right pair of binoculars for a fussy consumer like me is a time consuming business, one I don’t care to repeat again. Luckily, I got an excellent pair for my birthday this year, and so far they have been so reliable and handy for birding.

The Eyeskey Binoculars *** are waterproof, lightweight, and offer very clear vision at 10x magnification.  The reviews are very good for mid-range binoculars so if you’re on a budget I definitely recommend. The depth of vision isn’t as great as other binoculars but for birding the magnification is really impressive.

Comfy adjustable straps ✓

Easy to remove lens caps 

Lightweight design 

Affordable price 

Good magnification 

Comfortable grip 


 

 

*** FYI this is an affiliate link to the Amazon listing of this book.

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Cheeky Blogging Award

Sorry I haven’t written anything for an entire month – I’ve moved house and been without internet.

I’m pretty chuffed to have been nominated for the Leibster Award! And I’m doubly flattered that the nomination came from a blogger I have a lot of respect for. So thanks, My Veggie Life, for the chance to take part in this.

To my nominees: please display the award, thank the nominee, nominate 10 more bloggers with 10 more questions.

If you could give your younger self some advice what would it be?

Stop eating meat sooner. There’s no need to live with that daily guilt.

What/who inspires you?

‘Green Philosophers’; those published, those blogging, and those who just live an ethical lifestyle.

What is the best day of your life?

It might possible be the day I went to the Harry Potter Tour…. Yeah, it might be that. :/

What are you most passionate about?

Wildlife and books.

What is the number one thing you wish all people would understand?

That there isn’t a good enough excuse to keep eating meat.

What makes you happy?

Reading, walking in the countryside, listening to BBC 6Music.

What makes you sad?

Goodbyes.

What’s your favorite food?

I’m really more into pudding….

What is the best way to get your beliefs across to people who seem resistant?

Logic? Reason? Nah, it’s celebrity endorsement.

How do you hope to make the world a better place before you die?

Doing as little harm as I possibly can.

Here are my nominees, in no particular order. I think you’re all great writers, and I enjoy reading your blogs.

Secular Vegan

Animal Blawg

Hold the Eggplant 

Leanne Eats Plants

Absofckingcrueltyfree

Stacie M Stark

greenmindvegheart

Armory of the Revolution 

Why? Because Science

Live Kind. Eat Kind. 

Here are your questions.

How do you keep motivated to blog?

If you could be reincarnated as an animal, what would you choose and why?

Why do you blog?

What’s your favourite blogging snack?

What do you want to be when you grow up? ;)

Where’s the most interesting place you’ve travelled to and why did you enjoy it?

What’s your favourite book?

How would you describe yourself?

What do you identify as politically?

Would we get on well in real life? 

Have fun!

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