Tips for helping wildlife in a heatwave

Scottish Border hills in summer


It has been horrifically hot here. So unusual for Scotland. I believe records were broken - once on Thursday when temperatures got to 31 degrees Celsius and was the hottest day in Scotland for 23 years, and again on Friday when they reached 32 degrees in Glasgow. Even the railway tracks were buckling.


Scottish border hills with gorse


With the heat comes a host of problems, not least for the wildlife. Both the north of England (just over the border) and Scotland have reported a number of brush fires. Water levels have dropped in rivers and lakes exposing amphibians and fish. Even birds and insects can find it harder to find water as they prefer to stay closer to home than venture out into hostile conditions. Dehydration and heat stress can be a massive problem.


Cow parsley


So, with the promise/threat of more sunny weather to come there are a few things I will be doing to help wildlife in the heatwave.


  1. Supplying more water in the form of birdbaths and drinking areas and making sure they are kept topped up. It's not just birds that use them - insects, mammals, etc need water too.

  2. Putting extra food on the bird tables and on the ground for the rodents in the garden. My bank voles and woodmice like a little extra seed.

  3. Making sure the garden plants are kept watered using a watering can. The watering can saves wasting water with a hose and the plants give shade and food to insects like bees and butterflies.


You also provide shelter for insects by building rock and log piles or leaving pots and boxes for them to get some shade. These few things will help my local wildlife be just a little more comfortable during the heatwave. A little help goes a long way.


Bridge in the scottish borders