Taking time to help the College bird population
Now that term is underway and College is once more filled with hustle and bustle, it’s easy to forget the permanent residents that enrich the College environment.
We are very lucky, particularly at our Wychfield site, to play host to a wide array of bird life. From the larger crows, magpies and jays to the very familiar robin. The brightly coloured blue tits, the tiny wrens and the elusive flash of colour in the Yew tree that just might have been a goldcrest. You may not be familiar with their names, or their plumage, but you can’t help appreciating their calls and song as you stroll through the gardens. Imagine the silence in a garden devoid of nature.
Particularly during the winter months when the cold weather sets in, these birds can become more reliant on us for help. Whether it’s an extra bit of seed, a fat ball or handful of mealworms, this can massively help to supplement their energy supply when the ground is frozen and food is scarce. Fresh water is also important as natural sources may freeze in the cold. Birds quickly become reliant on this help and the Gardeners now have a resident robin who comes daily to the impromptu feed station outside the Head Gardener’s Office.
In order to further support and enrich the bird life at Wychfield, the Gardens Team have taken advantage of the cold weather to review the bird boxes located around Wychfield site. Some just needed a bit of renovation and some needed replacing entirely. The team were able to use mainly recycled materials to build or renovate a total of 8 bird boxes, designed specifically to house different types of birds. These are going up in the gardens this week ready for new occupants to take up residence.
Why not take some time out to enjoy the wildlife in College or in you local area. The RSBP has written about how nature helps health and wellbeing.
A little wander in the garden or sitting and watching the wildlife may be a welcome break and a chance for reflection, not to mention a breath of fresh air to blow those January cobwebs away. Spring is definitely on the way; the birds know it and are already eyeing up the new homes we have provided for them!
By Chris Challis, Gardener