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Why you should feed the birds in your garden

Birds are fascinating to watch, but there are also practical reasons for why having a range of birdlife in your garden is a good.

Pollination and pest control

The most common species of birds in the UK, such as sparrows, blackbirds, finches and tits, all contribute to the process of pollination by transferring pollen between plants as they feed. A healthy population of birds will also feed on of slugs, snails and other bugs, which helps to stop gardens from becoming overrun by pests.

Preservation of habitat

As wild habitats diminish, it is vital that we maintain the green spaces in our towns and cities to maximise the opportunities for birds to find sustenance, particularly in winter, when food can be scarce. Bird tables and bird feeders can provide a lifeline for them, and fat balls in particular offer much-needed protein when the ground is frozen, and worms remain inaccessible below ground.

Wellbeing

Connection to the natural world is a key contributor to good mental health and general wellbeing. Bird watching requires you to be still, calm and in the moment. Rather like yoga, meditative contemplation slows the breathing, quietens the mind and is an excellent way to reduce stress and anxiety. Popping into the garden to put food out for the birds is also a straightforward way to ensure you get some natural light and fresh air, even on colder days, when you might be tempted to stay indoors.

To sum up, feeding the birds in your garden is good for the environment, the birds and you too.

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