RSPB steps in to help gardeners attract birds

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has offered keen gardening homeowners some pointers to help them encourage birds into their gardens.

In the lead-up to the annual Feed the Birds Day, the RSPB is attempting to encourage more gardening people to sign up to its Homes for Wildlife project, which aims to assist homeowners in their attempts to turn their gardens into havens for birds.

The importance of guidance is highlighted by the fact that while 61 per cent of homeowners say they put out scraps for birds, their offerings are often not of particular benefit.

Some of the most important tips include allowing patches of grass to grow to ensure insects – which are eaten by birds such as house sparrows – have a home; planting a mix of trees, shrubs and climbers to afford birds food and shelter; and cultivating flowers which provide abundant levels of nectar and seeds.

"If everybody does something for wildlife it will make a difference from putting pot plants on balconies to building a pond, you will encourage insects and provide food for birds," Richard Bashford, RSPBs Homes for Wildlife manager, told the Dorset Echo.

"We can all create homes for wildlife where we live, no matter how much space we have," he added.

More than 65,000 people have signed up to the Homes for Wildlife project since it was set up [i]n October 2007.