Ivy is providing late food to butterflies and other insects which are still on the wing because of the unseasonably warm weather, conservationists said.
The RSPB is urging people to spare ivy in their gardens, for the benefit of insects which are currently feeding on it as well as birds which feed on its berries in late winter.
The plant can be easily managed, and can have beneficial properties, such as protecting old buildings from air pollution., she said.
She said: “Year round the ivy is a magnificent plant.
“At this time of year it provides insects with much-needed energy, while in late winter its berries create a feast for birds such as blackbirds and thrushes.”
She added: “Its foliage provides places for insects and spiders to hide and birds to nest. All in all, it’s a miracle plant for nature.”