RHS urges gardeners to help heatwave-afflicted wildlife

The heatwave is affecting UK wildlife – let's do our bit to help with the latest RHS guidelines

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Some of us may be loving the never-ending summer, but the heat and lack of rain are beginning to take their toll on UK wildlife. If you have a garden, spare a thought for the animals and insects that are sharing it with you. 

The RHS is estimating that it will take months to replenish the soil after the heatwave, urging gardeners to take a few simple steps to help wildlife access water and food.

Helen Bostock, Senior Horticultural Advisor at the RHS, said: 'The UK's gardens are a haven for wildlife with many gardeners plumping for plants and features that support their numbers. Instigating some small changes this long, hot summer could bring major benefits for the many insects, amphibians, mammals and birds that call our plots, pots and baskets home.'

So what can you do to help your local wildlife? Here are a few easy steps:

Water pollinator favourites

This may sound obvious, but water your plants well, paying special attention to pollinator favourites, such as single dahlias, single fuchsias and verbena. 

Create shady refuges

If you have a container garden, group the containers close together to provide refuge for frogs, insects, and newts.

Put out bowls of clean water

Do this, both above ground and on the ground, 24 hours a day. 

Provide food

A bowl of cat food is ideal for hedgehogs; fat balls for birds can help replace all those plants that have withered in the heat.