Summer wildlife garden survey by RSPB

PUBLISHED: 18:57 02 June 2010 | UPDATED: 14:02 18 June 2010

GARDENS in Devon and the South West will be under surveillance this week for the UK s biggest summer wildlife survey. Thousands of people will keep their eyes peeled for wild visitors as part of the RSPB s Make Your Nature Count.

GARDENS in Devon and the South West will be under surveillance this week for the UK's biggest summer wildlife survey.

Thousands of people will keep their eyes peeled for wild visitors as part of the RSPB's Make Your Nature Count. The survey includes the largest count of mammals in UK gardens.

Running from June 5-13, the RSPB wants to know about mammals such as badgers, foxes, moles and deer, as well as birds, to help it build a picture of wildlife visiting gardens at this time of year.

It's hoped the survey will produce a snapshot of how these species are doing and whether they are using gardens. The wildlife charity is also asking people to describe the area in which they live so it can start to identify urban, rural and regional variations.

Launched last year, more than 62,000 people took part in the new garden wildlife survey. It was the first time the RSPB had asked people to record other wildlife visiting gardens, and not just birds.

Results showed a quarter of gardens in the region are home to species such as foxes and hedgehogs. Over one in ten participants also reported seeing badgers in their garden, surprising experts at the diversity of wildlife south west gardens support.

One of the few species dependant on the co-operation of humans, is the house martin. A summer visitor, it is familiar to many for the mud nest it builds under the eaves of houses. Research has suggested a decline of over a third in the last 25 years, so this year the RSPB is specifically asking people if house martins are nesting on their house.

To take part, simply spend one hour during the week of 5-13 June, counting the birds and the other wildlife that visit your garden, and record the highest number of each species seen at any one time.

For further information about Make Your Nature Count and an online survey form visit, http://www.rspb.org.uk/naturecount.

Alternatively, forms can be obtained by phoning 0300 456 8340. The hotline number will be operational until June 10, 2010.


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