Residents at three care homes in Edinburgh have their binoculars at the ready ahead of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.
Preparations are underway, as Lauder Lodge, Cairdean House, and Murrayside, gear up to take part in the world’s largest garden wildlife survey from Saturday 26th January until Monday 28th January.
The team at Lauder Lodge has invited the Edinburgh North East Scout Group to join them for the occasion and take part in a variety of activities related to our feathered friends, including building a bird house and bird feeders.
Residents at Cairdean House will also be joined by children from the Lanark Road Nursery, and special guests from the Scottish Owl Centre, who will be bringing a variety of owls. As part of the session, residents and children will have the opportunity to learn interesting facts about the different birds and to meet the friendly creatures up close.
Meanwhile, at Murrayside, the home will open its doors to pupils from Corstorphine Primary School and members of the Corstorphine Trust for a birdwatching session and a discussion about British birds. Ahead of the event, residents will also be making bird cakes and hosting a reminiscence talk, which will help residents to remember birdwatching activities from their past.
2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, which encourages people nationwide to count the birds in their gardens to allow the charity to monitor trends and understand how different species are doing. Data from over half a million people is then compared year-on-year to provide a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers across the UK.
Home manager at Murrayside, Michelle Reid, explained why taking part in the Birdwatch is important for residents: “It may be one of the first events of the year, but the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is always a highlight for residents and team members alike!
“Spending time outdoors and connecting with the nature around us can prove to be beneficial for both the physical and mental wellbeing of older people – particularly those living with dementia. While it is a calming, peaceful activity, the distinctive sounds and vibrant colours of the garden are also great for providing sensory stimulation for residents.”
Gillian Goodall, home manager at Cairdean House, added: “We’re delighted to be taking part in the world’s largest garden wildlife survey once again this year, and to be playing our part in such an important study. We’re looking forward to welcoming the Scottish Owl Centre to the home and finding out more about these birds!”