Nature with Nik Mitchell: 5 great ideas for ‘wild’ Christmas gifts

Nik's 'wild' Christmas gift list

Thanet nature expert Nik Mitchell, from Minster, runs the Wildlife Conservation in Thanet page on facebook:

Struggling to find a perfect gift for someone this Christmas? I’ve compiled my top five wild presents for this Christmas.

Local company Home and Roost have even been kind enough to offer an exclusive discount code for ‘The Isle of Thanet News’ readers (find it at the end of this article). By buying wildlife themed gifts you are not only helping out our wildlife, you are also encouraging others to do their bit plus adding a bit of excitement and love to their homes.

1. Hedgehog highway Hedgehogs are in serious decline (50% since the year 2000) and they need our help. Hedgehogs are wonderful little creatures to share your garden with, they are the gardener’s best friend. Hedgehogs roam up to 1 mile a night in search of food. Sadly, over time access to many gardens has been cut off with fencing and we should all be making the effort and give them access into our gardens. What better way to inspire someone to do this than with these hedgehog highway signs.

2. Nest boxes Nest boxes always make a great gift. Although there are many different types my favourite all-rounder is the sparrow colony nest box. Sharing your home with a family of Birds is a real loving feeling and the birds will often reward you with their song. As a general rule shelter your nest box from bad weather and mount it approximately 3m from the ground, keeping a safe distance from cats. Putting up a nest box is a great Christmas time activity, especially with the kids.

3. Bird feeders Almost half of the households in the UK feed the garden Birds. Feeding your garden birds helps to increase their survival rate, breed more successfully, it compensates for habitat loss and best of all it brings natural beauty and entertainment to your garden. Observing the birds is very relaxing and great for your mental health

4. Bird bath A source of water is vital for wildlife, a bird bath is an absolute must have. The type you sit on the ground is best because then all sorts of wildlife can get to it including a thirsty hedgehog. All sorts wildlife will visit your bird bath not just birds! Bees, butterflies and small mammals will too. Don’t just use it to drink, they use it to wash too.

5. Wildlife encounter One of the very best things to do in Thanet is to go on a wildlife walk with Thanet-based wildlife filmmaker Keith Ross. It will be a day you’ll never forget, full of excitement and joy. Keith takes tours of up to 4 people at dates and times that suit you. To book email [email protected]

Happy Christmas everyone and here’s to a wild 2022.

The 10 % Coupon code for is HOMEANDROOSTIOT