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During the winter the garden shed or summerhouse can look a little forlorn sitting out in the cold and windswept back garden. With the summer gone the shed is not visited very often so always try to prepare it for the long cold winter before it arrives. Ensure the roofing felt is secured down and not torn, mend any broken windows and ensure the door is kept closed so the wind can't make it swing about in the wind.
At this time of the year it's too late to re-treat your garden shed as the wood will be damp and the treatment won't soak in as well as it should. However, if we have a spell of dry weather then it may be possible but do ensure the wood is as dry as possible. Don't waste money on water based preservative - always try to put on a spirit or oil based treatment as this will soak in far better.
If you are not sure which to buy for your garden shed take a look on the can. If it's says to wash your brushes out in water then it's a water based treatment. Spirit and oil based shed treatment will say to clean brushes with white spirits or something similar.
During this time of the year you will find that wild animals are trying their utmost to survive and they will see your garden shed as an area where they can shelter. If you have any small gaps in your shed they will shelter inside and this will help them. Not everyone is fond of this idea so it your are you need to ensure all openings into your shed are fixed. However, if you don't mind helping these creatures, which are all said to be God's creations, then please do all you can to assist them.
The description of wild animals can be a little daunting but you are likely to find that these creatures are more scared of us and won't do us any harm. This does not mean you should not take care when looking in your shed, just show them a little respect. Don't make a big effort of trying to befriend them as this won't help them survive. By all means leave a little food out but don't make it too easy for them.
Take a look in your garden shed for any liquids available such as antifreeze and shed treatments and ensure these are kept tightly closed in their containers. This will stop any wild animals trying to drink from them as they search for liquid to sustain them. This problem was highlighted by Wildlife Aid, based in Leatherhead, who stated there had been a large increase in the number of small animals being killed in and around sheds and garages.
They further said that as the weather gets colder more and more animals would try to find shelter in sheds, garages and other out buildings and asked owners to be sympathetic to their quest. By ensuring that all loose products and lids are kept in place this will save any animals getting hurt, which is not nice at any time. I don't even like killing spiders - I will catch them and then evict them from the house. If they are in my shed I just leave them, my wife's shed is different as she demands that they are evicted.
I do know that in the hustle and bustle of every day life that thoughts are centred on the home and family. What goes on outside in the garden and the shed is not important but it's nice to show some compassion for other creatures. Where is the harm in them sharing your shed or even your best summer house if you are feeling particularly generous through the winter months?