With around 8 million leftover pumpkins estimated this year in the UK, make sure yours isn’t wasted by repurposing it to support local wildlife.
With Halloween over and lots of tasty pumpkin soup made, why not get one more use out of your pumpkin before putting the husk into the compost or food waste bin.
This activity is a great way to involve the kids again, and give back some nutrition to the wildlife in your garden at the same time. Just keep an eye on it. If it is particularly warm weather make sure you take it down before the seed or pumpkin starts to go mouldy!
- 1 carved pumpkin
- Couple of twigs or short lengths of garden cane
- Bird seeds or peanuts
To make a simple feeder for your bird table (perfect for those that are already going a bit soft), just cut the top third off your pumpkin to provide a bowl and add seed. Use a couple of twigs to stick into the flesh on the inside and outside to give somewhere for the birds to perch.
If your pumpkin is still quite firm you can make a hanging feeder. Cut off the top third as above and then push through a short garden cane or sturdy stick all the way through the pumpkin from the left to the right ensuring the stick has a good few inches sticking out on either side (looking a bit like a scarecrows arms!). Do the same with another stick from front to back so you now have a cross in the middle.
Take two pieces of string about 75cm long. Tie a loop in the ends of the pieces of string and use each piece to loop over the sticks where they stick out of the side of the pumpkin.
Fill with seed and hang in a tree! The birds will eat both the flesh of the pumpkin and the seeds within it.
Don’t forget to take it down before it goes mouldy.
No pumpkins for hedgehogs…
You may have also seen a number of posts about chopping it up and leaving it out for ground feeding wildlife. Although badgers and squirrels may love you for this, it can actually be quite damaging to hedgehogs causing them upset stomachs just as they are getting ready to hibernate, so please keep your lovely pumpkins out of their reach.