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Support Welsh Wildlife   - Monday, February 25, 2008


St David’s Day is a great opportunity to take action to support Welsh wildlife and get outdoors to enjoy some of the unique natural wonders that Wales has to offer.

There are plenty of inventive and entertaining ways to give Welsh wildlife a boost. Why not…

Make your own little patch of Wales into a haven for wildlife. Nectar-rich flowering plants like daffodils are springing into glorious colour now and will attract insects for birds to eat. March is a great planting month so put in fragrant flowers and herbs to attract insects, which will encourage birds and bats. Or, plant a variety of different trees and shrubs - such as rowan, crab apple, holly and redcurrant – to produce a natural supply of fruits and berries in the garden all year round for birds to eat. To find out more about creating space for nature in the garden, register for the RSPB’s free Homes for Wildlife pack www.rspb.org.uk/hfw

-Take a trip to see an iconic Welsh bird – the red kite. Wales can be proud to have played a key role in the survival of this magnificent bird of prey, voted Wales’ Favourite Bird in a 2007 public poll led by RSPB Cymru and BBC Wales. Why not visit the Forestry Commission’s Bwlch Nant-yr-Arian centre, near Aberystwyth to appreciate them? Up to 80 red kites swoop and dive for food around the lake. On the brink of extinction in the rest of the UK in the early 20th century, only a handful of red kite pairs remained and these were in the undisturbed oak woodlands in remote parts of mid-Wales. Thanks to protection efforts by a number of organisations, including the Welsh Kite Trust, the population has increased significantly and there are now around 600 breeding pairs in Wales.

Feed the birds with tasty Welsh treats to give them lots of energy at the start of the breeding season. Stale bara brith or Welsh cakes can be crumbled onto the bird table to please a range of garden birds from robins and house sparrows to blue tits. Welsh cheeses can be grated onto the bird table too and will be a hit with wrens and blackbirds, whilst overripe fruit - a favourite among blackbirds and song thrushes - can be cut into quarters and placed on the ground. Buying cheese, fruit and other goods from a local producer is a great idea, as it helps to cut down food miles and supports Welsh trade.

Celebrate some of the best wildlife and scenery that Wales has to offer by exploring an RSPB nature reserve. Memorable experiences await visitors at the coastal lagoons of RSPB Conwy, the mountainous surroundings of Lake Vyrnwy in Powys, or the Welsh oak woodland at RSPB Ynys-hir in Ceredigion, among others. Welsh nature is amazing - help RSPB Cymru to keep it that way. For more information on how to support us, please call 029 2035 3000 or email cymru@rspb.org.uk