IT’S World Wildlife Day soon, meaning gardeners will be thinking about how to attract more creatures to their plot.

Here are some common mistakes gardeners make when trying to be kind to wildlife, and advice from experts on how to keep wildlife safe.

DON’T... Serve up fat balls in plastic netting: These may trap birds’ feet and even cause broken or torn-off feet and legs. Instead, hang a half coconut filled with fat balls in a tree or from a bird table.

DON’T... Feed birds dodgy seed mixes: Avoid seed mixtures containing split peas, beans, dried rice or lentils, as only the large species can eat them dry. Any mixture with green or pink lumps should be avoided as they are dog biscuit, which can only be eaten when soaked. Poor-quality peanuts can carry the aflatoxin fungus, which can kill birds if they eat it.

DON’T... Use pesticides: Instead, go organic and opt for different methods. Use beer traps or hand-pick slugs and snails off your plants after a downpour, wipe or wash aphids off badly affected plants as they appear, and use parasitic nematodes as a biological control for vine weevil.

DON’T... Cut hedges at the wrong time: Resist cutting hedges and trees between March and August, as this is the main breeding season for nesting birds.

DON’T... Box creatures in: Wildlife should be free to roam in and out of the garden. Create safe corridors from your garden to the one next door by making gaps at the base of your fence. Also, let some of your lawn grow longer. as voles, shrews, frogs, toads, beetles and hedgehogs like to move through this rather than out in the open.

DON’T... Tidy your garden too much: If you remove all your leaves and other garden debris from your beds and borders, you’re effectively depriving any visiting wildlife from shelter and food.

DON’T... Let creatures drown: Use a pile of carefully positioned stones, a piece of wood or some chicken wire to create a simple ramp to allow creatures to exit ponds.

DON’T... Give milk to hedgehogs: Instead, give them a shallow bowl of water and food such as meaty cat or dog food, and hedgehog food.

l World Wildlife Day is on March 3. For details go to