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Tough times for county’s flora and fauna

Published in the Portsmouth News on Friday 5th October 2012

THE effects of a cold and wet spring could cause problems for Hampshire’s wildlife through the autumn and winter.

Experts at the RSPB are worried about reports of late-ripening fruits, berries and nuts across the Hampshire countryside.

They said this could leave birds, mice, voles and other mammals hungry.

The unusually cold and wet spring could be to blame, with some plants not getting the right conditions earlier in the year to develop properly or to produce fruit at the right time.

Samantha Stokes, a spokeswoman for the RSPB, said: ‘It’s been a difficult spring and summer for wildlife, with our make Your Nature Count survey in June highlighting that birds were struggling to find enough natural sources of food for themselves and their chicks.

‘Natural food is very important at this time of year and a lean autumn crop is the last thing that our wildlife needs.’

The RSPB says providing food like fatballs and seeds for birds is important, but it is also urging people to manage their gardens and land with wildlife in mind.

‘That means not cutting back berry-bearing hedges.

Ms Stokes added: ‘Our gardens can be lifelines for wildlife, especially when conditions are tough.

‘A good garden, no matter how small, can provide food and shelter.’

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