Get involved in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

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25 January 2021

Did you know, the largest UK volunteer citizen science project is taking place at the end of January and you can be part of it?

The 42nd RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is taking place from Friday 29th to Sunday 31st January. This annual event is an opportunity to spend time (just 1 hour), immersed in nature to assist with gathering information to create an important National ‘snapshot’ of how some of our most loved garden birds are doing.

The Parks Trust is supporting the activity by encouraging individuals to use their garden or local green space to observe and record garden birds. Through our management of the parks we provide vital habitats for wildlife with the hope of improving and maintaining Milton Keynes' bird population. Results from previous BGBw surveys have been used in numerous conservation and species reports but most notably the State of Nature Report 2019.

The activity is simple and free to do and can be completed individually or as a family. You can record your results online or the RSPB will send you a pack through the post to your home address. You will need to submit your results before 19th February. As far as equipment goes you do not really need anything except the recording sheet showing pictures of the garden birds. Binoculars would be useful but not essential.

To encourage more birds to visit your garden you could start putting out a selection of food, such as wild bird seed, sunflower hearts or peanuts some days before your survey day to encourage birds into your garden. But please do not stop feeding after you have completed your survey! Birds need extra help this time of the year when their usual food sources, such as berries, are scarce and foraging is difficult because the ground can be wet or frozen. We have a fun activity making natural birdfeeders using pinecones which you can follow here.

A saucer of water easily accessed by birds, but off the ground, is also great because all birds still need to drink and clean their feathers during the winter. You will need to regularly clean and, when necessary, replace the water.

If you are unsure on whether to join in, we think a quote from the RSPB Conservation Science team, says it all:
‘Whatever you see, wherever you are, it counts!’

Sign-up to take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch here.

Discover our parks

  • Campbell Park


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    Located at the heart of Milton Keynes, Campbell Park hosts many of Milton Keynes’ major festivals and events. Its imaginative mix of formal gardens, water features, woodland and open pasture mean it’s an ideal spot to enjoy the changing seasons.

  • Howe Park Wood


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    Howe Park Wood is an ancient woodland in the south west of Milton Keynes near Westcroft and Tattenhoe which boasts a rich variety of wildlife and fantastic on site facilities including toilets, a café and a small play area.

  • Newlands


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    Newlands is an area of linear parkland between Willen Lake and Campbell Park, which also borders the canal. As of January 2021, an area of this park will be dedicated as a special place of remembrance.

  • Atterbury Park


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    Atterbury is an interesting area of parkland that sits adjacent to the Broughton Brook linear park. With footpaths throughout it is a great place to visit as part of a wider exploration of the linear parks.

  • Lodge Lake


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    Lodge Lake is one of the city's ‘on-line’ balancing lakes. It was created in 1981 by building a dam across the Loughton Brook. This holds back water as flow rates in the brook increase, helping to prevent flooding in downstream areas. The lake is perfect for a short outing - a gentle walk around the lake edge takes about 30 minutes - with plenty of interest on and off the water year-round.

  • Nature inspired activities and resources which you can do at home or in your local parks.
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