Lancashire folk urged to take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch

EYES PEELED: Children looking for bitterns in a reed bed at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve
EYES PEELED: Children looking for bitterns in a reed bed at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve
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The countdown is on for the world’s biggest garden wildlife survey.

People in Lancashire are being urged to take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch which takes place on January 30 and 31 to collate data and provide the valuable information about the numbers of birds in our gardens.

Big Garden Birdwatch 2016

Big Garden Birdwatch 2016

Now in its 37th year, 
the event collates data which provides an insight into the changes in numbers of birds in winter creating a picture of how our garden wildlife is doing.

With more than half a million people across the UK expected to take part this year, it’s a great event for all ages and it couldn’t be easier to join in the fun.

Participants are asked to count the birds in their garden or local park for one hour over Big Garden Birdwatch weekend and tell the RSPB what they see.

And for the third time in the event’s history, participants are also being asked to log some of the other wildlife which snuffles and settles in their gardens and local parks, including badgers, hedgehogs and red squirrels.

To help you prepare for the Big Garden Birdwatch, there are plenty of events taking place in Lancashire – from discovering how to attract more wildlife into your garden to gaining tips on how to identify the creatures which live on your doorstep.

Daniel Hayhow, RSPB conservation scientist, said: “Last year’s survey saw more than eight-and-a-half million birds spotted nationally, making it another great year for participation.

“With over half a million people now regularly taking part, coupled with over 30 years worth of data, Big Garden Birdwatch allows us to monitor trends and helps us understand how birds are doing.

“As the format of the survey has stayed the same, the scientific data can be compared year on year, making your results very valuable.

“With results from so many gardens, we are able to create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers across the UK.

“Once we know which birds are in trouble, together we can ensure that our garden wildlife will be around forever.”

Since the Big Garden Birdwatch began, over half of our house sparrows and 80 per cent of our starlings have disappeared – and the RSPB knows this thanks to people taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch and sharing their findings.

Today, participants can simply record the birds as they see them directly on to a laptop, tablet or smartphone with an online bird counting tool or send results in the post.

To help attract wildlife into your garden, there are plenty of tips for helping to give nature a home where you live on the RSPB website.

No matter how big or small your outside space, there’s something you can do to make a difference and the Big Garden Birdwatch is a great way of taking stock of how wildlife is doing near you.

l Visit www.rspb.org.uk/homes for more information.