Ever wondered what squirrels get up to when nobody is around? They may be one of the most common garden critters in the UK, but squirrels are remarkable rodents and are full of surprises. Sure, they bury nuts and steal bird feed, but we’re willing to bet there’s a thing or two about these beloved animals that you didn’t know. Read on to find out all about the secret life of squirrels…

1. Squirrels are den builders, and they build their dens (or ‘dreys’) out of twigs and branches. They can be found in the hollow of a tree or even in an attic or barn if the opportunity arises.


2. A squirrel’s diet consists mainly of nuts, fungi and berries. They also love chowing down  on different kinds of fruit and are even known to eat bark and sap!


3. Squirrels are active all year round and are very good at adapting to warm and cold temperatures. In winter their fur grows thicker to keep them warm and they are able to use their tail as shelter from the rain. 


4. Squirrels are extremely intelligent animals with superb memories. There are documented instances of squirrels remembering human beings.


5. The average lifespan of a squirrel is 2-6 years in the wild. Survival is largely based on the availability of autumn-winter tree seeds. In captivity, they have been known to live for up to 10 years.


6. Squirrels have two breeding seasons; the first litters are normally born in late February and March and the second litters are usually born between June and July. The average litter size is 3 or 4.


7. The reason we don’t see baby squirrels is because they don’t leave the nest until they are fully furred and able to survive independently. This can take 2-3 months so once you spot one it will likely look similar to an adult.


8. Squirrels communicate using a wide range of calls, such as territorial barks and ‘quacking’ noises, but their main form of communication is through the use of their tails. Their tails act as signalling devices, twitching them if they become suspicious of a threat.


9. Squirrels are one of the most important animals for helping the spread of oak trees. They store acorns in the ground but only recover around 70 per cent of them, allowing the forgotten acorns to grow into healthy trees.


10. The red squirrel is officially classed as ‘near threatened’ in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The loss of woodland over the last century, increased road traffic and predators are all contributing to their extinction.   

If you are lucky enough to have red squirrels visiting your garden there are some steps you can take to make life easier for them. Provide a little extra food, plant some red squirrel-friendly shrubs (such as brambles, crab apple and hawthorn) and report any squirrel activity to The Wildlife Trusts

Have you spotted any squirrels recently? Follow us on our socials and share your pictures with us.

Looking for something to do with the kids during the summer holidays? Why not build a hedgehog cafe!

By feeding the hungry hogs in your garden, you’re helping them build the energy they need to raise their hoglets and gain fat stores for their long winter hibernation. With hedgehogs in the UK at risk of extinction, it’s vital that we give our spiky friends a safe place to eat and rest. One great way to do this is to build a feeding station in your garden with lots of hedgehog food and fresh water!

What you will need to build your hedgehog café: 

Large plastic or wooden box 

Hacksaw or strong scissors*

Strong, thick tape

2 bricks or large stones

Shallow dishes

Hedgehog Food 


Our simple step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose a quiet spot in your garden to place your cafe, ensuring the area is in relatively close proximity to your ‘hedgehog highway’ (a small hole cut into your fence which allows hedgehogs to come and go as they please). 

  1. Carefully cut a 13cmx13cm/4.5’’x4.5’’ hole in one side of the box. This will be your hedgehog entrance point. You can also install a tunnel to prevent cats or foxes stealing the food.

  1. If using a plastic box, ensure that all sharp edges are covered with thick tape. This will ensure that the hedgehog will not be harmed by any sharp bits.

  1. Turn the box upside down and place your WildThings Hedgehog Food and water at the furthest point away from the hedgehog entrance.

  1. Place a brick or other heavy object on top of the plastic box to ensure that the box does not fall over or move and expose the hedgehog and its food. This will also stop foxes or cats from tipping the box up or dragging it away. 

Now it’s time to spot your spiky visitor! Keep a close lookout as the sun goes down and you may just be rewarded with a hedgehog snuffling away at the delicious food in your café. 

Eating enough before hibernation is very important and this is when supplementary feeding can prove vital for any hedgehog’s survival. So, there is no better time than the present to start building your hedgehog feeding station!

For more ideas on how you can help your local hedgehogs, follow us on social media. 

*Please always be careful when using sharp objects. Children should seek assistance from a parent or guardian.

Recently, fox sightings have been on the rise, which means you may have spotted a few of these bushy-tailed animals trotting around your garden. Here at WildThings, we think foxes are fascinating animals. Read on for 10 facts about foxes that just may surprise you: 

1. Foxes are great night-time predators

Their eyes are specially adapted to be able to see in the dark. Behind the light sensitive cells lies another layer called the tapetum lucidum which reflects light back through the eye. This doubles the intensity of what the fox can see, making them excellent at catching prey.

2. Foxes are considered to be solitary animals

Unlike other members of the canine family, foxes are not considered to be pack animals. Foxes tend to live by themselves or in small family groups called a “skulk”, which typically includes the mother fox and around 6 cubs.  

3. Foxes can make over 40 different sounds

If you’ve ever heard those scream like howls you will probably know the type of sounds we are talking about. Foxes can make a variation of screams, barks, and howls that can range from high pitched tones to lower tones to communicate different things.

4. Foxes make use of the earth’s magnetic field to hunt

Researchers have found that foxes are the first animals in the world to use the earth’s magnetic fields to judge the distance and direction of their prey. They can use this to their advantage when hunting for small animals located in high grass.

5. People used to fear foxes but they are actually considered friendly animals

Most fox species are known to be friendly, curious and playful whilst amongst other foxes and animals. There is also a long history of foxes playing with humans and bonding with them too. Foxes have been known to play with balls and will often take them from golf courses and gardens.

6. Foxes only reproduce once a year

Foxes breed only once a year and mating usually occurs in January or early February. The vixen (female fox) then remains pregnant for around 60 days and will birth a typical litter of 4 – 6 cubs around March or April. 

7. Baby foxes are unable to see, walk or thermoregulate when they are born

Mothers will typically nurse their cubs for the first two months of their lives until they develop these functions. Meanwhile, the male fox will go out and hunt for the family. The mother stays with the cubs in the den for around three weeks before the cubs venture out with their mother for the first time. 

8. Foxes don’t just live in rural areas, they also live in cities

This is due to the wide availability of food and shelter in towns or cities. Urban foxes tend to dig their dens in the earth underneath bushes or garden sheds. Some also dig underneath tree roots and railway embankments. 

9. Foxes have a very varied diet

Foxes are expert hunters, catching rabbits, rodents, birds, frogs and earthworms. But they aren’t carnivores – they are actually omnivores as they dine on berries and fruit too. If you are thinking of feeding your garden foxes, WildThings Fox & Badger Food is specially formulated to contain all the nutrients a fox needs.

10. Foxes have impeccable hearing

Researchers found that foxes have excellent low-frequency hearing. They can hear a watch ticking from 36 meters away and even hear rodents digging underground!


Want to find out more about all the wonderful wildlife the UK has? Follow us on social media today.

Feeding the ducks is a much loved activity for many, but over recent years there’s been a lot of debate about what you should feed ducks – and it raises a question, what do (and should) ducks actually eat?

Well, ducks are omnivorous birds which means they eat a wide range of different foods, both plant and animal, and often forage for meals and snacks. Feeding ducks, swans and geese is a great way to enjoy getting close to them and a really good way to connect with nature. But what can you feed ducks at your local park? Here are a few tips…

What do ducks eat?

In the wild, a duck’s diet will vary depending on their breed and habitat. Ducks that live near grasslands and parks will eat seeds, grass, and weeds, whereas ducks that live in wetlands will eat amphibians for example frogs, fish, and salamanders. If needs dictate, ducks will also eat molluscs, fish eggs, algae, worms, and insects.

In addition to these nutritious foods, some ducks consume sand, gravel, pebbles, and small shells to provide grit that aids their digestion. Grit can also contain trace amounts of vital minerals, such as calcium that help form part of their healthy diet.

Ducks and swans that live near ponds, parks and lakes often rely on supplementary feeding by the public and can be at risk of starvation without the extra food. If you can visit your local waterside, we would encourage you to take along some food and offer them a helping hand. You never know it could save their life.

Should ducks eat bread?

Feeding bread to swans and ducks is a fond pastime for people but, in some cases, this can be harmful to the birds.  There are many healthier alternatives which are safer for both the birds and the environment.

When ducks and swans eat bread in excess, it can cause nutrient and vitamin deficiencies which have been linked to the development of Angel Wing. This condition causes structural issues and strain on the muscles, causing their wings to twist and drop open. In most cases of Angel Wing, excessive intake of carbohydrates, lack of Vitamin E and Magnesium have been present and this correlates with the lack of nutrition white bread provides. It is also important to note that bacteria can breed on any uneaten bread and this can attract rats and other unwanted vermin.

However, this doesn’t mean we have to stop our trips to the lake to feed the ducks. Giving birds the right food is good for both them and the environment. So next time you go down to the pond, why not take a healthier alternative such as our Swan & Duck Food and do your bit to protect our wildlife!  You can read more about our ‘Better Than Bread’ campaign here.

What can I feed ducks?

There are many healthy, safe, and nutritious foods you can feed ducks, swans, and geese. The best foods contain minerals and vitamins that birds need for growth and development.

Some good foods to feed them include:

  • Rice (This can be plain, brown, or white and it doesn’t matter if it’s cooked or un-cooked)
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Oats (rolled or porridge oats)
  • Grapes (cut them in half first to avoid choking)
  • Vegetable trimmings or peels
  • WildThings Swan & Duck Food

WildThings Swan & Duck Food is an environmentally friendly and wholesome alternative. It is also extremely tasty, so you will quickly become the most popular person at the lake!