Residents and the Care UK team at Cleves Place care home in Haverhill 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 Millfields Way 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.
Since opening in March 2015, residents and day club members at Cleves Place have been planting nature-friendly plants and putting up bird boxes in order to attract more wildlife, as well as making their own fat balls to provide the birds with vital nourishment over the winter months.
Home manager, Sharlene Van Tonder, explained why Cleves Place is taking part 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.
“Playing an active role in preparations for the birdwatch has helped to provide meaningful and fulfilling occupation for the residents, who are now all looking forward to playing their part in the RSPB’s important national survey.”