Think global, act local, has long been the advice of environmentalists. Often the problems seem overwhelming, but one step at a time, we can make a difference. With that in mind, coast editor-in-chief Alex Fisher is going on a year’s journey to make her garden more wildlife friendly. Will you join her?

When I was a child, I spent hours watching my bird table, notebook in hand and the Reader’s Digest Birds of Britain hardback on my lap to help me identify the species which came to visit. From bullfinches and coal tits, wrens and robins to jays and hoopoes, the garden was awash with life. But since then, the decline in our beloved bird population has been huge. The RSPB reports that tree sparrow numbers are down by 95%, willow tits by 78% and bullfinches by 53%, due to loss of habitat and food. Despite these shocking figures, little is being done on a national scale to help our feathered friends, so, in my own small way, I want to make a difference.


The first thing the RSPB suggests we do is to put up a bird table. Food sources dwindle in November, so it’s a good time to start feeding. But how do you choose the right one? Well, make sure the wood is FSC-certified so you know the materials are sustainable and easily washable. I’ve chosen the solid-looking RSPB Country Barn model, as the removable tray is made from recycled plastic.

Place the bird table where it won’t be disturbed – in the back garden rather than the front, if you are lucky enough to have both – and situate it in a sheltered position about two metres in from a bush or small tree. This gives the birds a handy lookout from which to observe the table to make sure it is safe to feed.

Different bird food will attract different species and I’m starting with the standard RSPB Bird Table mix, which will draw finches, blackbirds, sparrows and robins. It takes a while for birds to discover a new feeder, so I know there will be a wait before they arrive, but still, I’ve bought myself a new notebook, and I will be sitting quietly by the window, hoping for some visitors.

TOP TIP: Don’t put whole peanuts loose on the bird table, only in special feeders where birds cannot pick up the whole nut.


Rewild your garden with me and let’s see if we can make a difference and bring more wildlife, and pleasure, into our lives. Share photos with me by email [email protected], Twitter and Instagram
@alexfishermedia #coastrewild.

Explore more in our nature section.