When we think about the wonderful world of wildlife, we often imagine tropical jungles in the Amazon or distant african landscapes. The truth of it is we don’t need to look far past our kitchen window to celebrate the animals much closer to home. There’s so much more to British wildlife than you would think; get ready to find out more about all the creatures native to the UK and perhaps learn some interesting facts along the way!

Badgers can survive on a wide variety of foods but their diet consists mainly of worms, fruit and nuts. If they’re really struggling to find sustenance, they may also eat small animals, such as hedgehogs. All the more reason to shop badger food at WildThings to give them a helping hand! They’re also impressively tidy; badgers regularly clean out the area they sleep in to keep fleas away. 

It’s no accident that hedgehogs are covered in spines. These prickly creatures curl up into a ball when they sense a predator lurking and their sharp spines effectively fend off any animals that may fancy them as a tasty snack. Watch out badgers! It’s worth noting that hedgehogs are particularly fond of eating slugs- so try to stay away from using slug poison as this can actually kill hedgehogs. You can also shop hedgehog food right here

Harvest mice are Britain’s smallest rodent, weighing as little as 4 grams. They like to weave nests out of grass and have semi-prehensile tails, which basically meals they can hold things with their tail! This is especially useful for climbing or picking up morsels of food.

Barn owls like to stay in one area their whole life and are known for being quite shy. They choose their nesting sites based on how easy it will be for them to hide and normally have one place to sleep and a few others to roost, all within a 3km radius. They also have the most sensitive hearing of any creature ever tested, so make sure you keep this in mind if you ever come across one!

There’s a reason why The Beatles sang about blackbirds. These beautiful birds roost together in the winter and sing together in unison, making a chink-chink sound. They also sing in the day and males start singing as early in the year as February in order to attract a female friend. 

Foxes are the nation’s scavengers and have developed strong stomachs and immune systems. This is so they can eat rotting food scraps that may make those animals with weaker dispositions quite ill. Household refuse makes up roughly half of an urban fox’s diet and they also feast on insects, worms and fruit. They may even hunt small mammals such as rats, mice and birds! 

Rabbits are nothing if not adaptable. Wild rabbits breed really fast and survive on a diet purely made up of vegetation, so it’s no surprise that the UK was previously overrun by rabbits. In the 1950s the disease myxomatosis was introduced to drastically reduce their numbers, causing them to become almost extinct! Thankfully, the cute little critters made a serious comeback and they’re now very common in the countryside (much to farmers’ dismay, rabbits love to eat up all their crops). 

Think there are no snakes in the UK? Think again! The grass snake is the largest reptile in Britain and can grow as large as a metre long. They’re normally found in areas where there is a body of water and woodland surroundings (so don’t worry, you’re not going to find one in your kitchen!) Fun fact, grass snakes like to do a bit of sunbathing when the sun comes out. Who would have thought? 

Are you interested in Britain’s wildlife? Connect with us on social and share your stories with us! 

Here at WildThings, we know how lucky we are to live in a country with such diverse wildlife. From hedgehogs, to foxes, to badgers, to birds, and more, it seems there’s a cute critter waiting around every corner! We’re willing to bet that when it comes to swans, you probably don’t know much about them. We take a closer look at their secret lives and find out more about these stunning creatures. 

Swans believe in soulmates

Once a swan has met its significant other, it will mate for life. The courtship ritual is truly something to behold; the two swans face each other, ruffle their feathers, lift their wings and bow their heads simultaneously. Once this phase is over, they tend to stick together for the rest of their days. Having a long-term mate is highly beneficial in terms of survival; swans tend to eat more/better when they work together as a team and they also work together to avoid potential predators. 

Swans have great memories

Just like elephants, swans never forget. They will remember if you have been kind to them…or not so kind! Always keep this in mind when you come across a swan, particularly if you regularly pass the same one on your morning commute. They’re beautiful, but they don’t like being messed with, that’s for sure! 

Swans can fly

Many people don’t know that swans can fly. They can actually fly as fast as 60mph and many migrate to warmer climates during the winter, as they prefer bodies of water that don’t freeze. The next time you see a blurry white UFO, you never know, it could be a swan seeking a warmer habitat! 

Swans have a diverse diet

Swans eat a range of food, including: algae, waterweed, pondweed, coontail, wild celery, wild rice and muskgrass. They also eat smaller creatures when they can find them in their habitat, such as fish, mollusks, frogs and insects. Many people feed swans bread, but it is important to remember that bread isn’t good for a swan’s digestive system. You can buy purpose made swan and duck food right here at WildThings. 

Swans aren’t fussy where they sleep

These majestic creatures will sleep either on land or in water, as long as they’re in their natural habitat. They tend to stand on one leg and float in the water while they rest, which doesn’t sound comfortable for us humans, but for them it’s the ideal position for a nice long sleep!

Swans can be a tad on the aggressive side

Swans are naturally gentle creatures but that doesn’t mean they won’t stand up for themselves when crossed! They have been known to act aggressively when they come across threatening behaviour and may even be able to break a human arm with their powerful wings. You definitely want to approach with caution and be respectful of their boundaries.

Swans live for a long time

For an animal of their size, swans live for a very long time. It is not uncommon for them to live for over 20 years and some species even live as long as 30 years! They tend to choose their life-long mate at around 2-4 years old, so that’s a long time to be spending with a significant other. In this day and age, it’s even longer than some human relationships! 

Want to keep up to date with all things WildThings? Follow us on social today!

hedgehog hiding in autumn leavesIf there’s one thing that’s for sure; there’s nothing cuter than a teeny, tiny hedgehog. These enchanting creatures have it all; they’re totally adorable, a bit mysterious in their ways and a great garden visitor to have. We’re willing to bet there’s a few things you don’t know about these prickly little critters. Read on for the top 10 things you didn’t know about hedgehogs:

1. Their table manners aren’t the best

If you’ve ever heard a hedgehog eating, it may come as a surprise that they chew so loudly! Next time the tiny creature visits your garden, listen out for that telltale sound of them enjoying their dinner.

2. Shakespeare was a fan

Referring to them as ‘hedgepins’ and ‘urchins’, William Shakespeare has included hedgehogs in plays such as The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. If Shakespeare is a fan then so are we!

3. They have A LOT of spines

It may come as a surprise but adult hedgehogs have at least 5,000 spines. 5,000 spines of prickly cuteness to be exact. They even have a small tail, which is generally hidden by the needles so a lot of people don’t know it’s there.

4. They like to do the rounds

That hedgehog you’ve affectionately named Steve might not be the regular you think he is. Hedgehogs like to visit different gardens each evening, so Steve might actually be Jack or Harry.

5. Their favourite food is insects

Hedgehogs enjoy beetles, caterpillars, earthworms and slugs, making them the ideal garden visitor. Say goodbye to those pesky insects when Steve/Jack/Harry is in town! To supplement their natural diet, you can also buy hedgehog food from WildThings. These little critters can’t get enough of it!

6. They like things messy

Good news; creating a safe space for hedgehogs is a great excuse to not trim your hedges. These critters love wild and overgrown greenery, as it offers them a safe space to nest. If there comes a time when you do need to do a bit of garden maintenance, especially in the winter, keep an eye out for any hibernating hedgehogs.

7. They sleep A LOT

Hedgehogs hibernate between November and March and need a soft cosy place to remain warm through the winter. Their favourite places to go down for the long nap are beneath garden sheds, under bushwood and snuggled up under bountiful garden hedges.

8. Their eyesight isn’t the best

It’s true, hedgehogs can’t see very well at all. To make up for this, their sense of smell and hearing are both exceptional. This enables them to find a safe place to nest, avoid predators and sniff out a tasty treat.

9. They’re lactose intolerant

If you want to leave a drink out for your garden visitor, you’re probably best staying clear of milk. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant which means they struggle to digest lactose, the main carbohydrate in dairy products. Opt for clean, fresh water instead.

10. They have strong personalities

When it comes to hedgehogs, you never know what you’re going to get. Some are charming and sociable, while others may be much more wary and want their own space. It’s important that you respect each individual hedgehog’s boundaries so you don’t frighten them. Your best bet is making sure they have plenty of food to eat and going in for a cautious pet once you’ve established a relationship.