With Storms Ciara and Dennis battering most of the UK recently, many people have been staying inside to avoid the bad weather. But people often fail to remember that our wildlife is also suffering at times like this. You may argue that ‘they’re animals, they’re used to it’ but the truth is, wild animals natural habits have been so affected by human interference, that they often now heavily rely on human actions in order to survive. When people decide to stay inside an avoid the outside world, the actions they normally take that many creatures rely on are no longer carried out.
Ducks and swans at ponds aren’t fed by eager school children. Dens and burrows are flooded by excessive rain. Bird feeders and water bowls are left empty and uncleaned. Plants that insects rely on to survive are unprotected and can be destroyed. While many of these things can’t be helped because we simply can’t stop bad weather from happening, there are certainly things we can do to help.
If you have a local pond or lake that you know is normally visited regularly, but will remain empty when it’s raining, try being the one person that braves the storm and feeds them regardless. Don your warmest raincoat, put on your wellies, fill up a bag with nutritional goodies (not bread…) and head along to your local wild water source to feed the animals that reside there. The same goes for feeding wild birds. If you normally have a feeder that goes empty when the weather’s bad, brave the bad weather for a minute or two and refill your feeders to help out the local wildlife. Animals need the energy they get from food in order to make it through tough times, especially when it’s cold and wet.
Stay safe during this stormy weather, but be sure to think of nature too. If it’s easy and safe enough for you to make it outside, please consider the animals that will suffer during this weather too.