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Snow: School closures and useful info

Steve Lowe speaks to Lyttanya Shannon at Big Waters Nature Reserve

It is not only humans who are affected by the adverse weather - the region's wildlife is feeling the cold too.

The freezing weather is particularly dangerous for birds, which struggle to find the food and water they need to survive the winter.

Steve Lowe is head of conservation at Northumberland Wildlife Trust.

He told BBC Look North that people could give the birds in their gardens a helping hand by putting out food for them, such as kitchen scraps.

He said high energy foods like peanuts and suet were best and that people should avoid putting out bread if possible.

He added that cat-owners could help by keeping their pets indoors for a few days, as this would reduce the amount that wildlife is disturbed.

Shooting ban

On a slightly bigger scale the Trust has set up a "feeding station" for wildlife at the Big Waters Nature Reserve in Newcastle.

It has also appealed to Natural England for a wildfowling ban - that is a temporary ban of the shooting of certain species of wildfowl.

Robin on snowy branch
Put out high energy foods like peanuts to help your garden birds

Steve said: "We've asked for a ban just for a couple of weeks to the birds time to get out of this particular spell and give them an edge for the future."

Meanwhile, visitors to Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve in Northumberland are being asked not to disturb the coastal birds there.

Andrew Craggs, the reserve manager, said causing the birds to take flight could reduce their chances of survival as it would force them to use up vital energy reserves.

"Many birds flock together to conserve energy and improve their chances of survival during the cold weather," he said.

"They also tend to become less active which might make them seem more approachable, but we appeal to people to avoid disturbing them and only view them from a distance."

Dog-owners have also been advised to keep their pets on a lead at all times while at the reserve.

Find out more about how to help the wildlife in your garden all year round by clicking on the links below:



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