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RSPB Birdwatch flocks back to Francis Court care home

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Residents and the care team at Francis Court care home in Crawley are gearing up to take part in this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, with a host of nature-related activities.

With binoculars at the ready and bird feeders filled, the care home on Borers Arms Road in Copthorne will be joining in the world’s largest wildlife survey on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st January.

As part of the home’s preparations for the Birdwatch, residents will have the chance to get up-close to some lesser-spotted feathered friends such as Birds of Prey when representatives from the Hawking Centre visit the home on Sunday 24th 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 Francis Court 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 everyone has been busy transforming the garden into a wildlife-friendly habitat to attract more birds.

Clematis and laurels have been planted to accommodate the likes of nesting Wrens and Blackbirds, while ground feeders have been drawing species such as Thrushes.  Residents have kept stand feeders topped up with nuts, seeds and fat balls to feed visiting Goldfinches, Nut Hatches, Greenfinches and Woodpeckers.  They have also been decorating bird boxes which have then been placed in the garden to attract Blue Tits, Wrens and Robins.

Customer relations manager, Karen Davies, explained why Francis Court 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:

“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.  We are thrilled representatives from the Hawking Centre are joining us to help us get ready for the event and feed the many birds in our garden.”

For more information on Francis Court please email customer relations manager, Karen Davies, at Visit for more information about birdwatching and to download Care UK’s fat ball recipe.

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

Open to new residents

Borers Arms Road, Copthorne, West Sussex, RH10 3LQ

Francis Court

  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club

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