Binoculars at the ready for survey

The visitor centre at RSPB Saltholme
The visitor centre at RSPB Saltholme

RSPB Saltholme is getting ready for the year’s big bird watching event with a host of activities for people of all ages.

Every weekend the reserve will be helping people to identify the birds that land in their gardens for the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch.

More people in Teesside than ever before are being called upon to take part in the survey which takes place on the weekend of January 25-26.

Simply count the birds in your garden or local park for one hour over Big Garden Birdwatch weekend and tell the RSPB what you see

People can pull up a pew in Saltholme’s visitor centre living room to watch birds on the feeders and get advice from knowledgeable volunteers.

Jo Keene, RSPB’s people engagement manager, said: “Whether this is the first time you’re taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch or you’re already an expert, there are plenty of ways to prepare and it’s a great opportunity to appreciate the wildlife where you live. Not forgetting it’s a brilliant feeling to be part of the world’s biggest wildlife survey – without having to leave the sofa.

“Over half a million people took part last year, which is fantastic, helping to provide the RSPB with a vital snapshot of garden bird numbers in winter and highlight any dramatic declines but this year we are calling for even more people to count the wildlife as UK nature is in trouble.”

The RSPB also wants to know about other wildlife sightings such as hedgehogs to build up a picture of local habitats.

For more information contact the visitor centre on (01642) 546625 or email saltholme@rspb.org.uk.