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Celebrating 40 years of counting garden birds

PUBLISHED: 09:10 27 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:28 27 January 2019

The Biggest Birdwatch event at Waterloo Park, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

The Biggest Birdwatch event at Waterloo Park, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

Dozens of people flocked to a Norwich park to take part in one of the biggest wildlife events of the year.

Springwatch presenter Lindsey Chapman at the Biggest Birdwatch event at Waterloo Park, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodSpringwatch presenter Lindsey Chapman at the Biggest Birdwatch event at Waterloo Park, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

This weekend saw the The Big Garden Birdwatch mark its 40th year.

Set up by the RSPB, each year the event - which is one of the biggest citizen science projects in the world - asks people from across the county to spare an hour of their time to count the birds in their gardens.

Taking part in survey in Norwich, on Saturday, families and individuals alike headed to Waterloo Park to spend an hour recording the wildlife in the park, have a go at making bird-feeders and hear BBC Springwatch presenter Lindsey Chapman talk about the importance of the survey.

Ms Chapman said: “The Big Garden Birdwatch is a really important annual activity that helps us understand how our garden wildlife is doing, up and down the country.

The Biggest Birdwatch event at Waterloo Park, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe Biggest Birdwatch event at Waterloo Park, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

“Having fun whilst generating crucial data that informs vital conservation work, the Birdwatch is a great example of citizen science in action.”

Over the decades The Big Garden Birdwatch participants have spent more than eight million hours counting more than 130m birds for a survey which has revealed the winners and the losers of the garden bird world.

Results have charted the failing fortunes of some of the UK’s most commonly seen garden birds such as house sparrows, starlings and song thrushes.

As well as the increasing numbers of species such as wood pigeons and long tailed tits spotted in backyards and parks, and influxes of birds such as bramblings and waxwings.

The Biggest Birdwatch event at Waterloo Park, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe Biggest Birdwatch event at Waterloo Park, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Mike Clarke, RSPB chief executive, said: “Everyone has a role to play in saving nature and protecting our wildlife. Big Garden Birdwatch participants have made a significant contribution to monitoring garden bird numbers over the past four decades.

“Those taking part work together as part of a community with thousands of other Big Garden Birdwatchers to help the RSPB’s work to protect birds, other wildlife and the places they live.”

Taking place from January 26-28, there is still time to contribute to the big garden birdwatch, to find out more visit: www.rspb.org.uk

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