Birds and wildlife of all shapes and sizes were spotted at the Mountfitchet House care home in Stansted Mountfitchet as part of the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.
Residents at the care home on Coltsfield welcomed wildlife to bird-friendly habitats, which they have been tending to for 12 months after taking part in the Birdwatch in 2015. Compared to the results of last year’s count, the home noticed a marked increase in the number of birds coming into the garden, thanks to residents’ involvement in creating dedicated wildlife areas with bird boxes and feeders. Among the species of birds spotted in the garden were magpies, wood pigeons and a female blackbird.
The annual Birdwatch was part of a programme of activities at Mountfitchet House designed to help residents to experience all the sensory benefits of the great outdoors.
Allison Squires, home manager at Mountfitchet House explained: “As well as helping to support an important national initiative from the RSPB, the Birdwatch also provided an excellent opportunity for nature-loving residents to either spend time in the garden listening to bird song or to spot visiting birds and wildlife from the comfort of our lounge overlooking the garden.
“At Mountfitchet House we support residents to participate in outdoor and sensory activities as they can boost emotional and physical wellbeing, and help residents to live meaningful and fulfilled lives. The birdwatch also proved to be a valuable reminiscence activity for those living with dementia, and everyone enjoyed spotting and naming the many bird and wildlife species which paid us a visit over the weekend.”
As well as keeping a record of the number and types of birds coming into the garden during a one hour period for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, residents took part in a wildlife quiz and spent time doing watercolour paintings of birds. They also made fat balls and topped-up feeders to help attract more birds to the care home garden.
For more information on the benefits of getting outdoors for people living with dementia, and practical advice for family carers, pick up a copy on Care UK’s Good To Go guide from Mountfitchet House or download it at www.careuk.com/goodtogo
To attract more birds to your garden why not try making your own bird food? Visit www.careuk.com/birdwatch to download Care UK’s fat cake recipe and to see the many varied activities residents at Care UK homes have been enjoying as part of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch