RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch gets off to a flying start at Hailsham care home

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Care UK’s Bowes House care home in Hailsham is opening its doors for the local community and residents for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend.

 

On Saturday 24 January from 10am – 4pm, residents and local community groups will enjoy a talk from Kim Parks, local expert on British wild life and birds. Kim will be sharing his experiences as well as presenting a slide show on birds and wild life in the area.  

 

As well as this, a bird picture quiz will take place and the home’s hair salon will be turned into a relaxation room with bird song playing and a therapist on hand to give free mini treatments. Residents will also have their binoculars at the ready and their bird feeders filled as they prepare to take part in seeing which birds visit the home’s garden.

Known as the largest wildlife survey in the world, the RSPB 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.

Home manager Helena Barrow explained why Bowes House is one of several Care UK care homes taking part in this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. “Connecting with our outdoor space and taking the time to observe birds and wildlife can be extremely beneficial for residents, particularly for those who are living with dementia. 

“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 bird song evoking memories and helping residents recall their love of nature.

“Sitting and watching the birds come and go quickly becomes an enjoyable shared interest for residents which can help combat any feelings of isolation, while practical tasks such as helping to clean and fill bird feeders can also be very fulfilling.

“With so many benefits to be enjoyed, we were very keen to take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. In preparation we have been busy setting up a bird table and feeders in our garden, as well as equipping dedicated twitching stations around the home with binoculars and guides to identify different species. We are all now looking forward to the activity getting underway at the weekend, and to playing a part in this important national survey.”

Family carers can get advice and support on how to incorporate practical activities such as bird watching into their daily routines by visiting careuk.com and requesting or downloading copies of ‘As Easy as ABC’ – a guide to activity based care – and ‘Listen, Talk, Connect’ – which helps overcome the challenges of connecting and communicating with loved ones who are living with dementia.

For more information, contact customer relations manager Karen Milligan by emailing karen.milligan@careuk.com or calling 0333 222 8695. For more information on which Care UK homes are taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, visit careuk.com/birdwatch

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch has taken place annually over the last 35 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, please go to rspb.org.uk

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