After the great harvest

Tree bumblebee (c) Penny Frith

The flowers may be fading, but there’s plenty of life in your garden yet!

Autumn is a critical time for many creatures found in the garden – whether busy harvesting and storing food or fattening up to survive the cold weather to come.

The sun is weakening in its warmth and the nights are lengthening which means there are fewer and fewer insects flying around – but you may well come across bumblebees buzzing between the few remaining flowers.  They have an exceptional ability to forage for food even on cold autumn days because of their unique ability to create their own heat – being fat and hairy helps, too!  This ability to fly on colder days is one reason why bumblebees are so vitally important as pollinators here in Wales – and a reminder, too, that we should ensure that there are still plenty of plants in the garden to provide sources of pollen and nectar before the big sleep.

How to make your own compost_Activity sheet

How to make your own compost_Activity sheet

Download your activity sheet here

If you have a compost heap, it, too, will still be working hard – thanks to all the small creatures busy decomposing the organic materials piled up over the summer. As long as the mound is large enough, the microbes, bacteria, mites, beetles and earthworms will continue to be active well into the winter. Meanwhile, if you insulate your heap with straw, carpet or thick layers of cardboard, the heat will continue to attract large numbers of creatures in the garden to shelter until spring.

There are many opportunities for you to learn more about gardening for wildlife – even in autumn and winter! Regular working groups take place at our offices in Aberduna and Bangor – why not contact the office and ask for more details?