A community-led initiative based in Telford, Shropshire, will be taking part in the largest garden wildlife citizen science project this year.
‘Feed the Birds’, a project set up in collaboration with Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Telford and Wrekin Council, has been using a love of birds and nature to tackle health issues and combat isolation. With their team of 30 dedicated volunteers, the scheme has been visiting elderly, disabled and isolated residents of the local area, helping them to clean and fill up their bird feeders.
While the benefits of the volunteers’ weekly visits are clear in helping to reduce isolation, those involved with ‘feed the birds’ are keen to have an even bigger impact, with ambitions to take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch this year.
The RSPB and idverde launched a partnership last year to help protect nature in Telford and Wrekin, with a dedicated member of the RSPB team based in Telford to work with idverde, Telford and Wrekin Council, and local people. idverde has donated £100 worth of bird food to the Feed the Birds project, to mark the occasion of the Big Garden Birdwatch.
Rita Gries, RSPB and idverde Community & Nature Engagement Officer, says: “The members of the ‘Feed the Birds’ project have been doing sterling work in attracting and recording a wide variety of bird species in the Telford area. We are delighted to be able to support them with this donation of some extra bird food, and hope this will help local people experience the pleasure of seeing even more birds in their gardens in time for the Big Garden Birdwatch, as well as giving our local birdlife a helping hand through the winter months.”
Up to half a million people are expected to watch and count their garden birds for this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in January – a nationwide survey which has been running for 4 decades. To take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2020, watch the birds in your garden or local park for one hour at some point over 25th, 26th and 27th January. Only count the birds that land, not those flying over. Record the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not the total you see in the hour.
For a FREE Big Garden Birdwatch pack, which includes a bird identification chart, plus RSPB shop voucher and advice to help you attract wildlife to your garden, text BIRD to 70030 or visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch