Tuesday, 22 May 2012


JUNE 2 - 10

The RSPB is well known for its dedication to helping everything that tweets, but the launch of its forthcoming Make Your Nature Count survey confirms how much the conservation charity is just as keen to support all garden wildlife from those that snuffle and forage to those that slither and slime.

Make Your Nature Count, running from the 2-10 June 2012, asks people to count the wildlife in their garden or local park over the summer.

Not only is the RSPB asking people to record birds in Merseyside, but it also wants to know about some of the other wildlife visiting gardens in the area, like hedgehogs, squirrels, deer and for the first time ever, slow-worms.

Last year 80,000 people nationwide stepped up for nature and took part in the RSPB’s summer survey. Everyone can help save nature by taking part and by doing this survey it helps the RSPB understand what is happening in gardens so they can act by directing their efforts where needed. 

Results revealed almost half of Merseyside gardens had baby blackbirds.  Many of those taking part also said that they saw bats in their gardens, with 22% seeing them regularly in the county.

In Merseyside, hedgehogs were seen in 19% of gardens monthly compared to 23% nationwide 

Sarah Houghton, the RSPB’s Make Your Nature Count manager, said: “Gardens are teeming with wildlife at this time of year so it’s the perfect time to take a moment and enjoy it. It also helps to build an important snapshot of summer wildlife in our gardens so we can see which species are thriving and which might need our help.”

Last year’s survey also revealed that grass snakes were around eleven times more likely in rural gardens than urban ones, with nearly one in fifty participants nationally reporting regular sightings.

At this time of year, gardens and green spaces are alive with young birds and the RSPB is asking people to look out for blackbird, robin and song thrush chicks. Counting young birds helps to give an indication of how important our gardens are for these birds to breed in.

Similar to how the RSPB’s winter survey, Big Garden Birdwatch, identifies trends among wintering bird populations, the RSPB believes, in time, Make Your Nature Count will build a picture about summer wildlife in gardens and green spaces nationwide.

Since its launch in 2009 many different species have been recorded in gardens and green spaces in summer. This information is helping identify how summer species are faring and which may need help. By participating in Make Your Nature Count you can help the RSPB save nature.

The RSPB also offers advice on how to make your garden more attractive to wildlife, so that you can see even more wonderful creatures. 

But don’t worry if you don’t have a garden; why not take your friends and family to the local park, have a picnic, relax, enjoy the sunshine and watch the wildlife that lives there too.
Sarah added: “We hope thousands of people will step up for nature and donate a little bit of their time in June to help save the nature on their doorstep by taking part in this simple garden wildlife survey.

To take part, simply spend one hour during the week of 2-10 June, counting the birds and the other wildlife that visit your garden or green space, record the highest number of each species seen at any one time and send us your results.

For further information about Make Your Nature Count visit the RSPB website www.rspb.org.uk/naturecount where an online survey form will be available from 2nd June.

Alternatively, ring 0300 456 8330 for a Make Your Nature Count survey form. The hotline number will be operational until 6th June 2012.

The table shows the percentage of Merseyside gardens that recorded other wildlife than birds in 2011:  

% seen regularly (at least monthly)
Grass snake
Great crested newt

Make Your Nature Count is part of Stepping Up for Nature, the RSPB’s latest campaign to help save nature. See www.rspb.org.uk/steppingup  for more information

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