Care UK homes around the country are again gearing up to take part in this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.
Residents have their binoculars at the ready and bird feeders filled as they prepare for the world’s largest wildlife survey from Saturday 28 until Monday 30 January.
In preparation for the national birdwatch, Priors House in Leamington Spa has been running bird themed arts classes and making fat balls and bird boxes, to tempt feathered friends into the garden. The home has also invited Simon Watts from Wild Presentations to join them for the birdwatch on Saturday 28 January.
Simon, who has appeared in BBC’s Springwatch, will be bringing a telescope, which can be connected to a television so that residents with impaired mobility or vision will be able to participate. In the afternoon, he will host an informative talk on how best to attract the birds into the garden.
Residents at Appleby House in Purley are also hoping the birds will be flying in and will be joined by Epsom Primary School for the birdwatch.
Home manager Shona Bradbury explained why Appleby House is one of many Care UK care homes taking part in this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch: “Spending time outdoors is important for physical and mental wellbeing, and has many benefits for older people, particularly for those who are living with dementia.
“Birdwatching helps bring nature to life, offering colourful sights and sensory stimulation. The sounds of birdsong and the appearance of different species can also help bring memories to the surface and act as a valuable reminiscence activity.
In Stratford upon Avon, Ambleside care home has invited local Parkinson’s support group, Time4Talking, to join them for the annual birdwatch.
Residents at St. Vincent’s House in Hammersmith will be creating special habitats to encourage birds into their ‘secret garden’, and will later be joined by the Hammersmith Community Garden Association, who will give residents a talk on how to encourage birdlife in to their garden.
Colne View in Halstead will be joined by Kala Dowsett, known locally as ‘The Owl Lady’, who will be presenting a variety of birds to residents.
Abney Court in Cheadle will be kicking off a week of activities, with a special visit from a bird and wildlife expert from Stockport RSPB. They will provide advice for attracting wildlife into the care home’s garden and top tips ahead of the birdwatch.
The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch has taken place annually over the last 37 years, with the information collected each year helping the RSPB form a picture of bird populations across the country and highlighting any trends or changes. For more information, visit rspb.org.uk