It’s time for the largest and the most comfortable amateur science event of the year, the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

Many conservation organisations are harnessing the power of citizen science to gather information about the state of nature and, with half a million volunteers, the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is the largest, and needs the least effort from the volunteers.

It is so easy to take part, just stay in the warm, settle down, with a cup of tea and a biscuit if you want, look out of the window and count any birds in your garden.  Most people take real delight in seeing birds at any time, knowing that you are providing important information to one of the biggest conservation organisations doubles the delight.

The natural world is always changing, but the last fifty years have seen perhaps bigger and definitely faster changes than at anytime since our country was separated from the European mainland.   Nature is struggling to keep up and maintain a balance.  Many of the birds that I would see when I was a youngster are now disappearing.

One example is the chirpy little House Sparrow.  In my childhood I would see a flock of twenty or thirty pass through my garden every day.  They were still the most common bird in the 2023 survey, but the numbers are half what was recorded when the survey started forty four years ago.  The evidence shows that our total wild bird population has dropped by 38 million in the last 60 years.

The rise in the number of people who put out good quality food for their garden birds is helping.  If you do feed the birds in your garden, now is the best time to make sure the feeders are clean.  The RSPB website has excellent advice about this.  

It may surprise you to know that just having some open water in your garden is one of the best ways of supporting local birds.  A patch of native wild flowers also helps, it will provide insects and seeds to feed a wide range of birds.

If you want to find out more then visit the RSPB website,, happy watching.

Ed Dolphin

SVBG is a not for profit organisation dependant on volunteers, grants and donations.  Without funding we cannot operate and many of our biodiversity projects will cease.

Even the smallest donation can make a difference to wildlife such as the kingfisher on our logo.  

The easiest way to donate a small sum is to click here to Donate

lf you want to give a larger donation, or for a specific project please get in touch via our Contacts page

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