THIS year’s bitter winter has taken its toll, but in Donaghcloney the birds have been lucky as pupils at the local primary school know exactly how to make the healthiest food to keep them well fed during cold weather.
With help from Ulster Wildlife Trust education guide, Sydney McKnight, pupils have been learning about which food is best for the different types of birds that visit their school grounds, and have made their own bird cake using lard, seed mix, cheese and sultanas.
But making bird food isn’t all the schoolchildren have been doing as part of the Make Space for Nature project delivered by the Ulster Wildlife Trust, with support from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
The pupils have also played a large part in improving their school grounds by planting bulbs, wildflowers and trees and making a mini beast hotel - as well as learning loads about local wildlife.
Sydney McKnight, said, “The students really enjoyed the session and having food available for birds in the school grounds has attracted a greater variety for bird watching.
“The wider benefit is that they now recognise many more birds and take a great interest in them.”
Their teacher, Mrs Eleanor Hamill, was equally enthusiastic about the school’s involvement with the Make Space for Nature project. “The children have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Ulster Wildlife Trust, learning about plants and animals and being involved in making the school grounds more attractive to wildlife.”
If you would like to know more about healthy food for garden birds or other tips and tools for making space for nature visit www.ulsterwildlifetrust.org and click on ‘Make Space for Nature’.