A few weeks ago I received an email from a lady named Amy Hawkins who was from Pugh’s Garden Centre, offering me the chance to write a blog post for an event that the garden centre would be holding. The event is called Little Green Fingers Big Garden Bird Watch Workshop and was run by the RSPB. I was honoured to be invited to such a wonderful workshop.

The workshop is aimed at families with children of primary school age and below. The aim is to inspire and provide information on the huge RSPB event that is the Big Garden Bird Watch.

When we arrived at the RSPB tent we were introduced to the project manager for giving nature a home in Cardiff, Carolyn Robertson. She was very welcoming and gave us plenty of information on how RSPB-Cymru runs in Wales and what kind of projects they have going on around South Wales for families.

Carolyn first told us about what the Big Garden Bird Watch was and why it was important. The Big Garden Bird Watch is a two day event (30th/31st Jan 2016) where households across the UK are asked to spend one hour on either two days to count the species of birds (and other wildlife) that enter their garden. In 2015 over 500,000 people took part and over 8.5million birds were counted. She then explained what the children would be doing over the next half an hour.

We started by planting Sweet Pea seeds into a little pot of soil. Sweet peas help to attract birds into your garden. My son wasn’t too keen on getting his hands dirty at first but as soon as I started putting the soil into the pot he was happy to help.

We then made fat balls made of lard and mealworms which the children can hang on a tree for their own Bird Watch. I was quite impressed with how many children were quite happy to get their hands in and pick up dried dead mealworms, the parents were not so keen.

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The last activity was to explore the plants which are for sale in the garden centre and find which ones would attract birds. We were given photos of the plants that we needed to find, but because some of them didn’t have leaves on, due to the time of the year, there were fat balls attached to the branches to help us out. I was quite impressed that my three year old son found three plants just by looking at the photographs.

Once we had completed the final activity we then went back to the RSPB tent where each child was given a sticker, fat balls and a bag of bird seed. My son did try and take more when I wasn’t looking, he really does enjoy feeding the birds.

This was a fun and informative activity which educates children and their parents. It is very important that families have access to workshops like this to encourage the next generation to protect and conserve our British wildlife.

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After we had finished the workshop we then went on to explore Pugh’s Garden Village. We hadn’t been before as it is quite a distance from where we live. There was so much to see, my son and 10 month old daughter especially liked watching the fish in the aquarium shop. We then went to look at all the gardening tools as we have just booked our very first allotment plot. We don’t know the first thing about gardening but we are starting to study what we need to do and when. My son is very excited to get involved and managed to persuade us to purchase for him a gardening tool kit.

Thank you to Amy from Pugh’s Garden Centre for inviting my family and I to such a brilliant event and thank you to Carolyn Robertson from the RSPB on making the event informative and fun.

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