Birds and wildlife of all shapes and sizes were spotted at Care UK’s care homes in west Suffolk last weekend, as part of the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.
Residents at Davers Court in Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall Lodge in Mildenhall 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.
Residents at Care UK’s Cedrus House care home in Stowmarket, who have also been busy creating a bird-friendly garden, were pleased to take part in the Birdwatch for the first time this year. The annual Birdwatch was part of a programme of activities at Care UK’s homes across west Suffolk, designed to help residents to experience all the sensory benefits of the great outdoors. 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, Davers Court, Mildenhall Lodge and Cedrus House were excited to welcome a special visit from some local owls. Experts from the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary toured around the three homes, educating residents about birdwatching and birds of prey, and introducing one of their friendly barn owls.
Katy Hughes, home manager at Mildenhall Lodge, 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 Mildenhall Lodge and other Care UK homes across the county, 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.”