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Give your feathered friends a helping hand with our guide to feeding your garden birds

Feeding and watching birds is a very popular hobby and it's a great way for children to begin to learn about wildlife.

Garden birds should be fed throughout the year; in Spring and Summer they benefit from extra food for the breeding season and their annual moult, in Autumn migrant birds arrive in our gardens hungry after their long journey, in Winter birds need extra food to keep warm and survive the cold weather especially when the ground is frozen, covered in snow or water over long periods.

It is very important to put food out regularly, birds use up a lot of their energy looking for food, they will return to a reliable supply of food on an almost daily basis, if that supply is not there they will waste valuable energy searching elsewhere. In very cold weather when natural food supplies are exhausted, birds that you may not usually see (Redwings, Fieldfare) become bolder and will visit your gardens looking for food you may even see a rare bird.

Bird Feeders and Bird Food

There are many different bird feeders available in various sizes and designs.

Seed & Peanut Feeder 

NUT FEEDERS are made from rigid steel mesh of approx. 6mm, this is large enough to prevent birds from damaging their beaks but it will only allow them to take out small pieces of nut, thus ensuring that young birds do not choke on whole or large pieces.

Peanuts are high in fat, buy certified peanuts from a reputable supplier as some poor quality peanuts can contain the natural toxin called Aflatoxin which can kill birds, never give birds salted or dry roasted peanuts.

Peanuts are a favourite food of Tits, Greenfinches, Sparrows, Nuthatches, Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Siskins, crushed nuts are favoured by Robins, Dunnocks and Wrens.

The Adventurer Feeder

SEED FEEDERS often consist of a clear cylindrical tube with feeding ports and perching rings at the bottom of the feeder. Fill with Sunflower Seeds, Sunflower Hearts (both are high energy foods) or seed mixtures specifically for seed feeders.

Seed mixes can attract lots of species; House Sparrows, Dunnocks, Finches and Collared Doves favour small seeds such as millet, Blackbirds favour flaked maize, Tits and Greenfinches favour sunflower seeds and crushed peanuts.

Nyjer Seed Feeder

NYJER SEED FEEDERS have very small feeding ports to control the flow of seed and minimise waste, although it is very fine Nyjer Seed is rich in oil and highly nutritious.

Nyjer Seed is a favourite of Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Siskins.

10 Fat Ball Feeding Ring

FAT BALL/CAKE FEEDERS are designed to hold fat balls or fat cakes always remove any nylon mesh bags before placing them in your feeders, these bags are a hazard to wildlife and birds can become entangled and injured. Fat Cakes can also be put on to all Bird Tables whole or broken up.

Fat Balls and Cakes are popular with all birds especially the Tit family.

Wooden Peanut Butter Feeder

PEANUT BUTTER FEEDERS will provide your birds with a nutritious, high energy treat, refills are available in different flavours (original, with nuts, with mealworms, with insects) which are specially formulated for birds, do not give the birds peanut butter for human consumption as it has a very high salt content.

They are a favourite of the Tit family.

 Mealworms for Birds

Live Food Feeding Bowl

MEALWORMS are an important source of protein and extremely beneficial for young chicks and adults throughout the winter when insects are scarce. Serve your mealworms in a container with smooth, vertical sides so that they cannot escape.

The Robin is often the first to the dish but they attract lots of birds including Wrens, Dunnocks, Tits, Song Thrushes, Blackbirds, Starlings and House Sparrows.

Kew Bromfield Hanging Bird Table - Robins, Blackbirds and Thrushes

BIRD TABLES are available in many different designs; freestanding, hanging, wall mounted or ground. Bird tables that have a roof will give protection to birds from predators and keep the food dry, it is important that all tables allow any water to drain off this will help to prevent food going bad and make them easier to clean.
 
Square Ground Bird Table

GROUND BIRD TABLES are especially useful for ground feeding and larger birds such as Blackbirds, Thrushes and Starlings, they will still be used by smaller birds too. Elevating the food off the ground reduces the risk of hygiene problems, moving the table around the garden avoids the build up of any waste food or droppings, only put out enough food that will be eaten to avoid attracting vermin. 

Ceramic Hanging Bird Bath Water Dish

BIRD BATHS provide your birds with an important supply of fresh water for drinking and bathing throughout the year, they should been cleaned out regularly and replaced with fresh water daily especially during warm weather and freezing conditions. 

Where to position your feeders

Bird Tables should be positioned in a sheltered site and where birds have a good all round view ideally about 2 metres from a small bush where birds can perch and see if it is safe to feed, avoid dense hedges or fences where cats can easily get to them, don’t forget to site feeders where you can watch and enjoy the birds from your window.

Ground Guard - Large Mesh

Fat Ball & Suet Feeder Guardian

Unwanted Guests

Cats, Squirrels and large birds (crows, magpies) can become pests, Squirrel proof hanging bird feeders are widely available they have a large outer mesh guard protecting the feeders, some are available with slippery domes. If squirrels and cats are a problem on your bird table enclose the post with a section of smooth plastic pipe, ground bird tables can be protected with an outer cage.

Hygiene

All Bird Tables/Feeders/Baths and equipment should be regularly cleaned with a mild disinfectant, rinse them out thoroughly and leave to completely dry out before refilling. Wash all bird feeders etc. outside with separate cleaning utensils, wear gloves and always wash your hands when you have finished.

Sit down, relax and watch natures live show - there is nothing more rewarding than watching birds eating the food that you have put out and knowing that you are playing a big part in their survival.

 

 

Give your feathered friends a helping hand with our guide to feeding your garden birds

Jan 1, 2017

Feeding and watching birds is now a very popular hobby and it's a great way for children to begin learning about wildlife.

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Prepare your garden for Winter

Nov 1, 2016

Here are some jobs to do in the garden before you put your gardening gloves away until Spring

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This October celebrate the British Apple.

Oct 1, 2016

This month British Apples are abundant, so let's pick, store, bake, eat, have fun and grow this versatile fruit.

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Consider a Rabbit for a pet

Jun 1, 2016

Getting a rabbit is a big commitment, they have specific needs to keep them healthy and happy

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Welcome back Sand Martins, Swallows, House Martins and Swifts

May 1, 2016

Put up a home for our spectacular Summer aerial migrants to stop their declining numbers

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Why not have a wormery in your garden

Apr 1, 2016

Worms are fascinating creatures that are rearely seen, they live in our soil or in our compost bins where they work their magic transforming our unwanted garden and kitchen waste into valuable soil-enhancing compost

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Have you seen our Cheese Making Kits

Feb 1, 2016

Why not make your own delicious and healthy Soft or Hard Cheese at home or at School

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Christmas gift ideas for all the family

Jan 1, 2016

December is here and the countdown to Christmas has begun

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Act now to help our Bees and Pollinating Insects, they desperately need our help

Jul 1, 2015

Evidence shows that our Bees and Pollinating Insects are in decline, this could have serious implications on our food production

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Why not join our Gardening With Children Club

May 1, 2015

If you are a School, Association, child minder or enthusiastic gardener - why not join our club?

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Win fabulous prizes from The Recycle Works at Gardening With Children

Mar 24, 2015

At Gardening With Children we have regular competitions giving you and your school a chance to win gardening equipment and wildlife products, congratulations to our latest winners

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Put up some Nest Boxes in your garden to help our wonderful birds

Feb 1, 2015

To help and encourage the birds in your garden put up some Nest Boxes during National Nest Box week

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The key to successful Seed Sowing is preparation

Jan 1, 2015

Start planning now for one of the most important jobs in the Gardening Year

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Win fabulous prizes from The Recycle Works at Gardening With Children

Dec 1, 2014

At Gardening with Children our aim is quite simple - to encourage children to have fun whilst gardening, cooking and eating home grown fruit and vegetables, and caring for wildlife and the environment

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It's British Food Fortnight

Sep 20, 2014

Why not celebrate by growing, harvesting, buying and cooking wonderful seasonal British produce.

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Attract Butterflies to your garden

Jul 1, 2014

Plant nectar rich flowers throughout the year to create a haven to help our native butterflies

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Why not grow your own tasty Tomatoes?

May 1, 2014

Tomatoes are healthy and truly delicious especially when they are home grown and freshly picked

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Now is the time to use your home made compost in the garden

Mar 1, 2014

Use it as a mulch, a potting compost, a top dressing it will improve your soil structure and feed your plants

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Put up some Nest Boxes in your garden to help our declining bird population

Feb 1, 2014

To encourage lots of different birds into your garden put up a variety of nest boxes.

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Our top Christmas Gift ideas for Young Gardeners and Nature Lovers

Jan 1, 2014

If you are looking for a present that is just that little bit different have a look at our selection of gifts that will delight your children and benefit our wildlife too

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Join our Wildflower Seed Project and help to conserve these unique plants for the future

Sep 1, 2013

Collecting seed is a fantastic and rewarding thing to do with children and they will learn where seeds come from.

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Grow Wildflowers to help our declining Bees

May 1, 2013

Create a haven for Bees in your garden, plant Wildflowers and put up Bee Houses

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Grow Fruit and Vegetables in our new Thrifty Raised Beds

Mar 1, 2013

If you are gardening on a budget we've got just the thing...

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Plant Trees for Life

Jan 1, 2013

Why not plant trees to help wildlife, for the environment, to enhance your local area or for your own enjoyment.

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Go fishing in August to celebrate National Fishing Month

Aug 1, 2012

Why not go fishing with rod and line on our fantastic rivers and lakes or catch crabs at the seaside with a crab line.

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Garden on a Roll

Jun 1, 2012

Gardening couldn’t be easier; this really is a great idea that saves you time, effort and money spent on unsuitable plants and everything you need including Raised Beds and Compost and Tools/Equipment can be delivered to your door.

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Grow delicious Fruit and Vegetables in Hanging Baskets, Wall Baskets and Window Boxes (Troughs)

May 1, 2012

A great way to increase the growing area in your garden, perfect when space is limited, and ideal for patios or balconies.

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Have your own continuous supply of fresh salad leaves!

Apr 14, 2012

Now is a great time to be getting started with your summer supply of tasty fresh Salad Leaves and Herbs. There is nothing better than having a a nice selection all ready to eat when you need them.

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Make lovely Handmade Presents and Cards for someone special

Mar 23, 2012

Make a decorated window pot and a handmade collage card

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Spring Half Term Holiday Fun

Mar 8, 2012

Baking Bramley Apple Crumble, Plant a tree, Put up nest boxes, Spot Spring, windowsill Gardening, Pebble Pets

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Take part in a Compost Bug Survey

Feb 1, 2012

Explore your Compost Bin and find out who lives there

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Ideas to encourage kids to grow their own!

Jan 10, 2012

The health of our children is a hot topic. A really easy way to get kids out into the fresh air, exercising and eating fresh fruit and vegetables is by getting them interested in how things grow and how waste gets broken down ...

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Our Favourite Spooky Halloween Activities

Oct 13, 2011

Fun ideas for Halloween including recipes, craft activites and things to do in the garden...

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The School Garden - Planning for the Summer Holidays

Jun 29, 2011

The summer holidays are often a tricky time for the school garden. After all the fun and toil of the Gardening Club during the spring and summer term, everyone skips off for their summer holidays and the much loved and enjoyed school garden can fall .....

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Great Gardens in a Small Space with the Polanter

Mar 23, 2011

We have a lovely new product in stock that will be perfect to get going in the spring. Polanters are clever vertical gardens that can be extended to fit any space. ...And if you ever grow plants on walls you will know how quickly they dry out but.......

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Bonfire Night Celebrations - Our Favorite Ideas

Nov 3, 2010

Craft ideas, recipes and traditional celebration ideas for Bonfire Night

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A Story In Eight Words Can Say So Much ...

May 21, 2010

Enormous thanks to everyone who got into the spirit of story telling and entered our April competition. Some of your entries were heart warming, others funny ...they were a delight to read.

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All About Spring - From Spetisbury Primary School

May 19, 2010

Do take a look at our gallery of lovely pictures and poems from Spetisbury Primary School in Dorset. They are all about spring time and are just beautiful ...well done to all the children who took part.

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Have you ever considered getting a wormery?

Jan 27, 2009

One way to dispose of your food waste is to get a wormery, we do a range of wooden wormeries which will facinate your children.

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New Product Launch - Wooden Cold Frames

Jan 2, 2009

Our brand new Wooden Cold Frame can be used anywhere and has the added benefit that it can be positioned alongside any of our Wooden Compost Bins. That way, the heat generated by the compost can help to warm the cold frame!

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