Care homes across the north of England took part in the RPSB Big Garden Bird Watch


BINOCULARS were at the ready for Hill Care home residents taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch.


Elderly residents at care homes across the north of England took stock of local bird life as part of the national survey.


Among those was 91-year-old John Walker, a resident at Mandale House Care Home, in Stockton-on-Tees.


John is a former member of the RSPB in Witton Le Wear, Bishop Auckland, and was a volunteer warden at Monsmere Bird Sanctuary in Suffolk in the 1970s.


He has a scar above his right eye from a bird that pecked him on a previous bird watch with friends – but this has not hindered his enthusiasm.


“My eyesight is not what it used to be, unfortunately, so I wasn’t able to watch for the birds myself,” John said.


“But I took great pleasure in talking with the other residents, the visiting school children and their teachers about the birds and listening to them sing when they visited the garden.”


Pupils from two Thornaby primary schools, Mandale Mill and Harewood, helped residents to create bird feeders to attract birds to the garden for the nation-wide RSPB event.


Christine Reason, home manager at Mandale House Care Home, said: “Our residents really enjoyed taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch.


“We’ve had great community support from the local primary schools to prepare for the weekend. Everyone was raring to go and start taking note of the birds visiting our garden.”


Alongside Mandale House, Hill Care’s other homes across Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Cheshire and Nottinghamshire also participated in the bird watching activities.


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