Gardening tips for February: Help the birds

Garden birds are pairing up and there must be no delay in finalising the putting up of nest boxes, in locations out of cats’ easy reach. An elevation facing north or east is best, as this will avoid the inhabitants experiencing too hot sunshine or the wettest winds. These days, there is no shortage of designs for ready-made boxes (the RSPB’s online shop stocks dozens, including boxes to assist housemartins, swallows, swifts, owls and sparrows). Provided last year’s boxes are not already being occupied by early nesters, they should be cleaned out now, ready for their new tenants.

* Follow Country Life on Twitter

* Subscribe to Country Life and save