As all of the equestrian and country properties for sale with Equus have around 1 acre or more, the numerous opportunities to go ‘wildlife spotting’ are literally on your own doorstep!

This weekend in particular is a good time to do some bird spotting by joining in ‘The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch’. 

By just sparing an hour of your time you will join around 500,000 people (including a few celebrities) taking part in the event which is recognised as being ‘the world’s largest wildlife survey’ and last year led to a count of an incredible 8,262,662 birds and helping to build a picture of garden wildlife across the UK.

You don’t need to be an expert to take part. The RSPB have got lots of fascinating facts, tips and advice on their website to help you to tell your garden birds apart and to spot something more unusual when it turns up while learning about the different colours, shapes, beaks, habits and voices of our regular garden visitors.

Another way to get an immediate update on the ‘winter wildlife’ on our doorsteps is to catch this week’s ‘Winter Watch’ Programme being televised  live on BBC 2  at 8pm each evening   presented by their resident experts Chris Packham, Michaela Strackan and Martin Hughes – Games.

Your step-by-step guide to taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2017

1. Register online to receive your FREE RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Pack:

2. Choose a good place to watch the birds at your property for an hour during the weekend of 28th-30th January. It may be from a window inside your home or a good vantage point from your stable yard, outbuildings or land. Wherever you choose to do your ‘bird count’ make yourself as comfy as possible and arm yourself with a few essentials – A pair of binoculars (if you have them), somewhere to jot down what you see and of course a nice hot drink and your favourite biscuits.  The Big Garden Birdwatch is not just restricted to the birds you see – also make a note of any other wildlife you spot.

3. Now all you have to do is to relax and watch the birds for an hour. If anyone disturbs you, you can tell them you're busy being a ‘scientist’! Count the maximum number of each species you see at any one time. To help you track what you see the RSPB website have got a nifty counting tool you can make use of.

4. Once you have completed your Big Garden Birdwatch simply log on to the RSPB website and report what you’ve seen. Or use a paper form, available to download from the website which is FREE to post back to the RSPB. 

5. That’s it! By taking part and recording what you see, you will have become an RSPB citizen scientist helping to provide valuable information about garden wildlife.

How does The Big Garden Birdwatch help?

With over half a million people now regularly taking part, coupled with over 35 years’ worth of data, The Big Garden Birdwatch allows the RSPB to monitor trends and gives an indication of how our garden birds are doing offering an excellent snapshot of numbers across the UK.

While some changes in bird numbers can seem scary - we've lost more than half our house sparrows and some three-quarters of our starlings - it isn't all doom and gloom. Over the last 35 years blue tit numbers have risen by 20 per cent and the woodpigeon population has increased by a whopping 800 per cent. 

Results from the annual Big Garden Birdwatch helps to identify any problems within the garden bird population and more importantly offers a chance to react to reasons why a particular species of garden bird may be in decline. So play your part in this valuable research if you can.