Advice & Learning

Long Itchington – A Wild Parish.

Feeding the birds in your Garden
If you want to encourage wildlife into your garden providing food for the birds can be one of the best ways.

A general mixed bird feed on a bird table or in suitable feeders will encourage many local birds into your garden, giving them the energy they need especially during the winter months. Try to make sure you also provide access to clean drinking water so that the birds can drink and bathe. During winter when the water freezes ensure that ice does not prevent the birds from drinking.

Bird feeders can also be filled with crushed peanuts & sunflower seeds. Fat balls containing a mixture of fat and seeds will attract blue-tits and great-tits in particular, but please ensure the nylon mesh surrounding the ball is removed to prevent the birds’ feet becoming entangled. Also mealworms are a great food source for robins & thrushes.

One often neglected tip is hygiene. To keep viruses and disease at bay, try to clean bird feeders once they are empty, and before refilling. This will help keep the birds that visit your garden healthy.

Feeding the ducks at the village pond
When feeding the ducks at the village pond we ask that people try to avoid throwing large amounts of bread into the water. The effects are very damaging to the long-term health of the pond and its inhabitants because bread provides little nutrition and can lead to health problems. These effects can be particularly marked during a hard winter when wildfowl need more energy. If you and your children would like to feed the ducks please use alternatives like bird seed, barley, oats and other grains, but only in moderation.

Garden with wildlife in mind
The easiest way to provide food for birds all year round is to have a wildlife-friendly garden. Choosing certain plants to place in your garden such as holly, ivy and spindle will provide berries, fruit and seeds. If you have fruiting plants, try not to prune them until the birds have had their fill. Importantly, avoid using slug-killers and other chemical pesticides because of their harmful side effects if ingested. Try not to be in too much of a hurry to tidy up, your wildlife will thank you for this. Birds and other wildlife will feed on the bounty that the garden can provide.

For further information see the Links page.

Long Itchington Parish Wildlife Wardens

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