Leamington care home residents gear-up for annual RSPB birdwatch

Jean Wallis , resident of Care UKs Priors House in Old Milverton Lane
Jean Wallis , resident of Care UKs Priors House in Old Milverton Lane

A care home in Leamington Spa is gearing up to take part in this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

Residents from Care UK’s Priors House on Old Milverton Lane have their binoculars at the ready and their bird feeders filled as they prepare for the world’s largest wildlife survey from January Saturday 28 until Monday 30.

In preparation for the birdwatch, the home has been running bird-themed art classes and has made fat balls and bird boxes.

The home has invited Simon Watts from Wild Presentations to join them for the birdwatch on Saturday January 28.

Simon, who has appeared in BBC’s Springwatch, will be bringing a telescope connected to a television so that residents with impaired mobility or vision may be able to participate.

He will also be advising the residents on how best to attract the birds and will give a talk in the afternoon.

Local beekeeper, Julie Smith, will also be visiting the home and will give a presentation on bees and how they help the environment, as well as bringing some homemade honey for residents to sample.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch encourages people throughout the UK to take a closer look at the nature on their doorsteps by counting the different birds, as well as recording any non-bird species such as badgers and hedgehogs, which visit their garden in any one hour.

This takes place over the last weekend of January.

Home manager, Francine Summers, explained why Priors House is one of several care homes taking part in this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

She said: “Spending time outdoors is important for physical and mental wellbeing, and has many benefits for older people, particularly for those who are living with dementia.

“Birdwatching helps bring nature to life, offering colourful sights and sensory stimulation.

“The sounds of bird song and the appearance of different species can also help bring memories to the surface and act as a valuable reminiscence activity.

“If it’s not too cold outside, birdwatching is an accessible activity that all abilities can enjoy, whether simply sitting in the garden and taking in the sights and sounds of the birds, or filling the bird feeder.”

She added: “We really enjoyed taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch last year so can’t wait to grab our binoculars and start twitching again.”

The home has been preparing the gardens and making fat balls to provide the birds with vital nourishment over the winter months.

Family carers can get advice and support on how to incorporate practical activities such as bird watching into their daily routines by visiting www.careuk.com