Wildlife World are a family run business based in Tetbury and are Europe's largest designer and manufacturer of wildlife products and habitats. I caught up with them at this year's virtual Garden Press Event in March and being a passionate wildlife gardener I was keen to test their nutritional food range too see if our local wildlife were as impressed as I was.
(Click on gallery photos to enlarge).
Cotswold Granaries are part of the Wildlife World family and produce gold standard wildlife food for birds, hedgehogs, squirrels, ducks and swans. Their vision is to provide 100% natural and nutritionally dense food to help UK wildlife survival.
I am very impressed with Cotswold Granaries commitment to sustainability. The word 'sustainability' does get used a lot these days but it is at the heart of what they do; this is demonstrated through their food packaging. Their products come in 100% home-compostable, waste-free, plastic-free bags which are made from plant fibre and starch. These resealable bags even have home-compostable labels and zippers.
Over the past couple of months I have been trialling Wildlife World's range of Cotswold Granaries wildlife food in private country gardens around North Somerset. So what was the verdict?
Owners of a rural North Somerset garden have turned some of their quiet areas into hedgehog habitat. They have placed a number of hedgehog houses along the back of deep shrubby borders which remain undisturbed apart from when food is delivered (like wildlife meals on wheels!).
The food consists of poultry meat and oil, wheat, wheatfeed, whole maize, rice, brewers yeast and whole linseed. This low odour dry kibble is energy-rich with a high meat content which does not contain artificial colours, flavours or added sugar. The low odour deters cats and flies and birds can safely graze on any leftover crumbs. Suitable for adult hedgehogs and hoglets. The packs come in two different sized 265g £2.99 and 950g £5.99.
Armed with a wildlife cam we were able to capture the nighttime activity. The food was put out in March and there had only been one hedgehog sighting the week before, a sign of sleepy heads coming out of hibernation so we did not know if there would be any interest at this point in the season. But you can imagine our joy when the very next morning the camera app showed a very hungry hedgehog chomped through the food. I'm surprised the hog didn't do a piece to camera asking for more! A big thumbs up from the local hedgehog community.
National Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 2 - 8 May and aims to raise appreciation for these wonderful creatures and to encourage people to create hedgehog-friendly areas in their gardens, from log piles to hedgehog homes and highways, there are plenty of things we can all do to improve the habitat in our own gardens. Sadly hedgehogs are officially classified as vulnerable to extinction so now more than ever is a critical time to take action!
See the Wildlife World website for the complete hedgehog low down on what they eat, when they hibernate and read what we can do to help them in our gardens.
For further information check out British Hedgehog Preservation Society Post your hedgehog havens on social media each day tagged #hedgehogweek and enter their daily competition to win hedgehog prizes!
Duck and Swan Food
The Duck and swan food was tested at a stunning natural lake which is home to various waterfowl including ducks and moor hens. The food was thrown for the birds to return to once we had gone. The food floats which minimalises waste from it falling uneaten to the bottom of the water.
Well the big surprise was the visitors the food attracted. For the first time ever a pair of swans appeared. Now that maybe an uncanny coincidence but these welcomed visitors were more than happy to embark on their special guest meal. And other unexpected fans of the food was tadpoles! The local tadpoles have been frantically devouring the duck and swan food.
The floating feed is made from high-quality natural ingredients and contains peas, rice, soya oil and linseed and are packed with vitamins A, D3 and E.
Packs come as 180g £2.99 and 700g £5.99.
Wild Bird Food
Cotswold Granaries have three different bird feeds in their range; no wheat, no mess and 100% sunflower hearts.
I have received immensely positive feedback from all the gardens testing the wild bird food; all had a similar experience, the food was quickly gobbled up as soon as it was put out. A great sign! Winning mixes consisting of seeds that the birds want and need.
All the packs contain only natural ingredients and attract a variety of birds both native and visiting to the garden. The packs differ slightly but include a combination of sunflower hearts, seeds, oats, kibbled maize and canary seeds, and most importantly no artificial colours or added sugar. The food is nutrient dense which is great for helping chicks and fledgelings grow and adult birds overwinter,
The no mess mix contains no inedible husks so there is no waste, everything is edible, so you do not end up with old husks all over the floor and bird table and of course the sunflower mix contains simply premium sunflowers hearts which are high in calories/energy, healthy oils and protein. Small soft billed birds are attracted to the sunflower hearts so expect to see robins, sparrows, goldfinches, song thrushes, blue tits and chaffinches as well as nuthatches and starlings.
No wheat mix: 300g £1.99 and 1kg £3.49
No mess mix: 250g £2.49 and 1kg £3.99
Sunflower mix: 300g £2.49 and 1kg £3.99
Squirrels can sometimes be seen as a pest but they are an important part of the wildlife food chain and we must look out for them as we do the birds and hedgehogs. I've seen squirrels described as 'nature's gardeners' as they plant seeds; which ever ones are forgotten grow in to the next generation of trees, so they play an integral role in increasing woodland.
Yet again the Cotswold Granaries came up trumps and the table did not stay filled for long!
Cotswold's Granaries, Wildlife World food is packed full of nutritional goodies. Shelled peanuts, striped sunflowers, in shell walnuts, hazel and peanuts, french maize, locust beans and pine nuts provide grey, red and black squirrels with a feast and a natural source of calcium.
This nutrient-dense feed is ideal all year round and the high protein and fat content can help these creatures through winter when food is scarce.
Packs come as 250g £3.49 and 1kg £6.99.
We all need to give wildlife a helping hand where we can, by providing nutritious healthy food and safe habitat. There are so many ways we can all contribute in our individual gardens. Multiply individual efforts make a big difference nationally. Our gardens are fabulous resources and provide essential links between our urban gardens and the countryside. A recent study has found that private gardens cover over 10 million acres of land, larger than all the UK's nature reserves put together, so let's use this space wisely.
See what you can do to help and really make a difference!
Wildlife World supports many wildlife and environmental charities and projects including British Hedgehog Preservation Society, Bumble Bee Conservation Trust, RSPCA, Red Squirrel Survival Trust, International Bee Research, Centre for Alternative Technology, Rewilding Britain and a variety of other wildlife rescue centres.
They also work very closely with various conservation trusts including Buglife, RSPB, Woodland Trust, Bat Conservation Trust, and the National Trust.
All Wildlife World wood products, such as bird and bug houses are manufactured from FSC® certified timber from managed forests and are free of chemical preservatives. Recycled materials such as cardboard replace plastic and metal where possible.
All photos @ Debi Holland 2021
Hedgehog webcam c/o Yvonne Wesbroom.
Sincere thanks to Roger Harvey, Yvonne Wesbroom, Judy Miles, Olivia and Andrew Grogono, Ronnie Fox, Bernie and Richard Kefford, Maggie and Iain Holland for testing Cotswold Granaries, Wildlife World's nutritional wildlife food at their North Somerset gardens and allowing me to photograph their wonderful wildlife spaces.