National Gardening Week is the UK's largest celebration of gardening, taking place between the 2nd and 8th of May. It aims to inspire current gardening enthusiasts, whilst also encouraging interest amongst a new generation of gardeners. Most Brits take great pride in their gardens and it makes a great hobby to keep both the mind and body active, but it is important to take care of our environment, whilst also remaining respectful of the hundreds of animals that call it home.


Spring is a busy period for us where we receive lots of calls from concerned members of the public who have come across a lonely young animal whilst out and about. The general advice is to avoid getting too close - avoid physical contact and monitor from a safe distance for 24 hours. In this time, they will usually have been collected by their mother. However, in some cases where you suspect an animal is severely injured or has strayed far from their mother, it may be necessary to call the RSPCA NCC on 0300 1234 999, or the 'small, sick and injured wildlife' call line on 0300 123 8967. An alternative would be to head to National's advice section to see if you can help.


The widespread advice is to be aware. If you are aware of the environment and what may reside there then the chances of you causing injury are minimal. For example, when spending time in your garden, you should check dense areas of grass before mowing and strimming. This will help to prevent causing injury to animals like baby rabbits or hedgehogs who may be hiding beneath. Also check compost heaps before forking over, as hedgehogs make like to rest there too.

Click here for advice regarding hedgehogs, including some hedgehog-friendly gardening advice. 


Try to avoid disturbing baby animals as some mothers can reject their babies after sensing human touch. Instead, you should monitor from a safe distance for 24 hours in which the mother should have returned. If she hasn't and you are particularly worried, you can call the RSPCA NCC on 0300 1234 999 who will advise you on what to do next. 

If you have found a baby bird, click here to find out how to distinguish between a nestling and a fledgling - and what to do. 


Woodland walks are a great way to appreciate nature as there are so many different species of plants and animals residing there. They are vast open areas, often free for everyone to explore. Nevertheless, it is important that as individuals we all play our part in maintaining the beauty of such natural environments for generations to come. For example, do not allow your dog to chase after animals - like squirrels who may seek safety up a tree or rabbits who may burrow underground. Be mindful that some flowers can be toxic to dogs. These include lillies, hyacinth, tulips, daffodils and crocus, and can result in excessive drooling, loss of appetite, intense vomiting and diarrhoea. Where possible, try to keep your beloved pets away from flowers and other plants, and always keep a close eye on them in case they feel like having a sneaky snack whilst your back is turned.


Although butterflies and other insects are beautiful, avoid trying to pick them up as their wings are very fragile - and they are unable to fly with a broken wing. Nature should be appreciated from a distance where possible to ensure its beauty can be maintained for future generations.


Click here for advice on how to attract birds to your garden.


If you are concerned about any wildlife species - whether bird, fox, hedgehog or something else - the RSPCA NCC will be able to advise you on what to do. We are a rehoming charity so cannot personally attend any incidents. Click here to see the difference between our branch and the National RSPCA 


You can take extra care of wildlife by providing them with food, water and perhaps shelter in your garden. This may also help to attract animals to your garden as they will see it as a place of safety.