RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch on 29th-31st January

Sean McMenemy, Director of Ark Wildlife, who has featured in publications such as Country Living and The Metro, as well as on the website of trusted charity PTES has provided his insight on the benefits of families getting involved in the Birdwatch:

“Maintaining concentration while home or remote learning is difficult for younger children and their education can suffer. However, giving them permission to gaze out the window, or explore the garden is a great way to learn without them even realising it. Counting, recording, drawing, observing and identifying visiting birds are all valuable learning opportunities in a fun and exciting way.”

“Birds are very present in all our lives. Even children who say they ‘know nothing’ when asked, are surprised when questioned about common birds. Can you identify a duck? An owl? A Seagull? Once their minds are opened, they can often identify a dozen or more birds they didn’t realise they knew. Eagle, goose, chicken, swan, penguin, turkey, parrot, robin. Maybe even blue tit, crow, kingfisher and blackbird. It’s fun to show children how much they know without even realising it. It builds confidence and encourages children to engage further in the natural world.”

“Spending time watching or walking in nature has been shown to benefit both mind and body, and this is as true for young people as it is adults. Sitting quietly in fresh air or walking in open spaces calms the mind and body, it balances our physiology and promotes production of positive hormones. Slowing to the pace of nature and it’s natural rhythms is greatly beneficial and contrasts starkly with our fast paced digital existences with all its distractions. Time spent in nature is never wasted.”