Residents and the team at Sandfields care home in Cheltenham are gearing up to take part in this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. With binoculars at the ready and bird feeders filled, the Care UK home on St George’s Road will be joining in the world’s largest wildlife survey on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st January.
A longstanding RSPB initiative, the Big Garden Birdwatch encourages people throughout the UK to take a closer look at the nature on their doorsteps by counting the different birds which visit their garden in any one hour over the last weekend of January, as well as recording any non-bird species such as badgers and hedgehogs.
This will be the second consecutive year Sandfields has taken part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. The home’s participation in 2015 was deemed a great success by nature-loving residents and in the past 12 months Sandfields has added bird tables to the garden in order to attract more wildlife.
Home manager, Deanna Lane, explained why Sandfields is taking part again this year: “Staying active and enjoying the outdoors can be extremely valuable for the residents, particularly those living with dementia. The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch provides a great opportunity for residents to access outside spaces and reap the emotional, social and physical benefits this can bring.
“The quiet, calming nature of bird watching can help lower anxiety, while the colourful sights and distinctive sounds of our feathered friends provide plenty of sensory stimulation. Bird watching can also be a valuable reminiscence activity, with the appearance of certain species and the sounds of birdsong evoking memories and helping residents recall their love of nature.
“With so many benefits, we were keen to repeat the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and hope it will be bigger and better than before. This year, we have been busy preparing our gardens to attract more birds and making fat balls to provide them with vital nourishment over the winter months. The recipe can be downloaded at: www.careuk.com/birdwatch.
“Playing an active role in preparations for the birdwatch has helped to provide meaningful and fulfilling activity for the residents, who are now all looking forward to playing their part in the RSPB’s important national survey.”