Ivy is an all-round winner for nature because it's evergreen leaves offer crucial shelter for birds and insects even throughout the colder months, when other natural cover is thinning out.
And let's not forget ivy's ripe, winter jewels – its berries. These are a crucial, calorie-rich source of food for your feathered garden friends, just when they need that extra energy hit to enable them to maintain their body temperatures.
If you do one thing this autumn, nurture and pay homage to your garden ivy – and if you don't have one, plant one!
The garden bird vanishing act
During September the RSPB is often contacted by concerned members of the public who have noticed that their much-loved garden birds, who once flocked to well-stocked feeders, have suddenly vanished. But this is a totally natural occurrence at the end of the summer and beginning of autumn.