Did you know that cutting back trees and plants at this time of year could harm nesting birds or cause them to abandon their nest? Wildlife advisors at the RSPB are entering one of their busiest times of year as phone calls flood in from concerned supporters about people starting their garden clearance during the breeding season (March to August).
With the sun shining and temperatures on the rise, everyone's keen to get back out into the garden and it's not unusual to hear or see people enthusiastically trimming back garden foliage, ready for a summer of barbeques and family parties.
But instead of rushing to cut back bushes, shrubs and trees, which often causes harm to active bird's nests and wildlife such as hedgehogs and slowworms, the RSPB is asking people to put down the shears, let their gardens grow and embrace the benefits it can bring.
Ben Andrew, Wildlife Advisor at the RSPB, said: "A little bit of untidiness is good for all sorts of bugs and birds and there are many other benefits to delaying your garden clearance, you'll not only save yourself time and effort but you'll also protect nature whilst doing so.
"You can provide a home for many fascinating creatures if you leave your garden to grow a little wild. Hedgehogs, bumblebees, frogs, bats and butterflies are amongst those that might be likely to pay you a visit. Having lots of birds in your garden means experiencing amazing spectacles such as the dawn chorus- a morning choir of songbirds at sunrise.
"You'll also be offering a safe haven for nesting birds, valuable food for insects and a home for other wildlife such as mammals and reptiles. It's so rewarding and exciting to see nature arriving and thriving in your garden."
For those that can't wait to get out into the garden, there are many other simple ways to help wildlife whilst spending time outside. Keeping a shallow bowl topped up with fresh water will attract birds and provide them with a constant source of fresh drinking and bathing water. With the school half term approaching, making a 'bug-hotel' is a fun project for all the family to get involved in. You can expect lots of insects to pay a visit, including leaf-cutter bees over summer and hibernating ladybirds during winter.
Even smaller gardens can be home to some amazing British wildlife, making it an exciting place for children and adults alike to discover and enjoy nature. From window boxes to log piles and meadow areas, all outside spaces are important for wildlife.
For more hints, tips and advice on how to build a wildlife friendly garden or open space, visit: rspb.org.uk/homes.