BIRDS need your helping hand to assist them raise their chicks in summer months.

RSPB wildlife advisor Richard James said: “Now is the height of the breeding season so there are many busy parents looking for food to feed hungry offspring.

“Birds need to find food for their young brood quickly and don’t want to be away from them for too long, so having a supply of seeds, mealworms and suitable kitchen leftovers can really help them out.”

The Society sells a third more bird food in June than it does in December and believes the food may be eaten more quickly than in other months because birds see it as a convenience and opt for the quickest option to keep their brood happy.

People are being also encouraged to leave out food for hedgehogs too such as tinned dog or cat food, crushed biscuits or specialist hedgehog food which can brought from the charity's online shop. But hedgehogs should not be given milk because it can lead to stomach problems.

Gardeners are also urged to plant insect friendly honeysuckle, dahlia and cornflower that are attractive to look at and nectar rich for insects.

In the year since the RSPB launched its biggest-ever campaign, Giving Nature a Home, almost 300,000 people have pledged to provide summer and winter food for birds, put up a nestbox or planted nectar-rich flowers.

The set of Emmerdale has installed a Lego bug hotel, hedgehog house and a nestbox around the TV soap village in West Yorkshire and the grounds of Downton Abbey have been transformed into a wildflower meadow.