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Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Friday, 2 October 2009 14:03 UK
Help feed the birds this autumn
Customer Care Assistant, Emma Taggart gets ready to feed the birds
Customer Care Assistant, Emma Taggart gets ready to feed the birds

This October, bird lovers can find out more about feeding our feathered friends through the autumn.

Leyland Garden Centre is hosting a Wild Bird Care Week from 19 to 25 October to tie in with the RSPB's Feed the Birds Day on 24 and 25 October 2009.

Christina Smith, garden centre manager, said: "Anyone who visits will receive free tips and advice about feeding and caring for their garden birds."

There will also be free activities for children.

Plants the RSPB recommends for wildlife gardens include:
Dog rose - attracts insects and aphids
Honeysuckle - autumn fruits supply food for warblers, thrushes and bullfinches
Ivy - its evergreen property provides food and shelter all year round
Alyssum - drought resistant plant attracts bees, moths, butterflies and hoverflies
Candytuft - attract bees, butterflies and moths
Flowering tobacco - attractive to a number of important insects
Sunflower - some annual varieties provide seeds for birds to feed on
Hawthorn - its thorny nature provides excellent protection for birds as shelter and nest sites
Goat willow - catkins provide a rich source of nectar for bees and caterpillars, aphids and sawflies
Cotoneaster - starlings and thrushes find its berries a good source of autumn and winter food
Silver Birch - Several invertebrate feed on it, and dead or decaying birches are important for fungi and nesting birds
Holly - berries provide food for birds during the winter and butterflies in the spring
Rowan - berries provide an important food source for blackbirds and starlings

Richard Bashford, Feed the Birds Day Manager at the RSPB, said: "Birds require lots of high energy foods during the cold winter weather, and particularly to help them survive the bitter cold nights.

Life saver

"Feed The Birds Day reminds us about all the things we can do to help birds through the colder months of the year. Last winter was one of the harshest we've had for many years, and many birds had reason to be grateful for reliable supplies of good quality bird food.

"We're pretty good at providing fast food for birds such as fat balls and seed, and this is certainly a life saver in the cold, especially when everywhere is frozen or covered in snow. But what about providing some 'slow food' too?

"We recommend planting native plants such as hawthorn, ivy and honeysuckle that will provide food and shelter throughout the year for adult birds, and much-needed insects to help baby birds to grow strong, healthy bodies in spring."

During the event at Leyland, free information leaflets will be available, giving advice about feeding birds in your garden and providing shelter for them using nest boxes.

Christina said: "There will also be an opportunity to find out how to make your garden into a haven for wild birds.

"October is a great time to make sure your garden has plants and shrubs that will attract birds and help them feed through the long winter days and nights."

Leyland Garden Centre is on Southport Road near Ulnes Walton. To find out more about Wild Bird Care Week, visit the website or call 01772 600 271.

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