Wildlife shelters may be waste of cash

Garden and greenhouse enthusiasts may have the best intentions when buying wildlife shelters for winter, but they may well be wasting their money.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), a recent Which? Gardening survey found that the products are often of no use whatsoever.

Despite costing between £9.99 and £69, six types of shelter placed in ten different gardens produced disappointing results.

Most remained completely unused, although two bee hibernation logs were visited during the year-long trial.

Despite this, a home-made version of the bee shelter proved twice as popular at a fraction of the cost.

"Wildlife is pretty good at looking after itself over the winter period," explained RHS chief entomologist Andrew Halstead.

"There is no shortage of suitable shelters in the countryside and in urban gardens."

In fact, he noted that mild winters are more of a danger to wildlife than cold ones, as the heat brings them out of shelter early, using up food supply prematurely.

In other news, the RHS recently revealed that the Scottish island of Canna is of international significance due to the variety of waxcap fungi growing there.