Leading developer Barratt London, the housebuilder responsible for the Eastman Village development on Harrow View, is encouraging Harrow residents to join in with the largest wildlife survey in the world – the Big Garden Birdwatch.
The Birdwatch, run by the RSPB since 1979, invites people across the UK to spend an hour counting the birds they see in their garden or from their balcony and report their sightings back to the RSPB.
It’s a great activity for the whole family, and, with over 40 years of data, helps the RSPB to keep track of how well our beloved garden birds are doing year-on-year across the UK.
Signing up is free and includes a guide to help count and identify the birds, an RSPB shop voucher, and advice on how to attract wildlife to your garden.
Barratt Developments has been working in partnership with the RSPB since 2014 to show how new homes and communities can help support wildlife, for instance by creating wildlife-friendly show gardens at many sites.
The RSPB website (www.rspb.org.uk) has lots of tips for encouraging birds to your home for the Birdwatch, and all year-round, including:
Make a bird café – you can make a whole bird buffet in your kitchen! Rustle up a suet cake, set up an apple feeder, and even sprinkle out your leftovers – they’ll be appreciated by birds at any time of year, but especially now in the coldest part of the year.
Be sure to check the RSPB website for advice on which leftover foods are safe, as some foods can be harmful to birds and other wildlife.
Set up a drinks station – water is important all year round for birds, both to slake their thirst and to clean their feathers. You can help them out by buying a bird bath, or by making your own – even a plant saucer or an upturned bin lid will do the trick.
Just make sure it’s not too slippery or deep. Some stones or gravel in the bottom can help stop birds from slipping.
Give birds a home – spring is just around the corner, which means many birds will already be thinking about finding a home for this year’s chicks. You can buy a nest box for them at rspb.org.uk/shop, or even make your own!
There are step-by-step instructions on the RSPB website.
Ed McCoy, Sales Director at Barratt West London said: “Birds are fascinating creatures, and by making our space as nature-friendly as possible we get to appreciate their mesmerising behaviours up close.”
“As a leading housebuilder, we want to work closely with residents to encourage them to welcome wildlife into their outside spaces across London.
“The Big Garden Birdwatch is a really fun way for all of us to get involved and learn more about the birds on our doorstep.”
Adrian Thomas, RSPB’s wildlife gardening expert, commented: “I’m always blown away by how much people love being part of the Big Garden Birdwatch! Last year about half a million people took part, counting eight million birds.
“It’s a great chance to hunker down with a mug of hot chocolate and feel part of the outside world – and since it also helps conservation, it really is a win-win for the whole family.”
To sign up to the event and for more ideas on how to encourage wildlife into your garden, visit the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch page here: https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/