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Monday, 24 October 2016

The joys of feeding, and some posters of dubious educational value !

As some of you may remember, Linda spends over £30 a week on bird food for the garden: niger seeds, fat balls, mealworms and suet are no problem. However, we also put out lots of mixed flaked peas and cereal for ground-feeding birds such as pigeons, doves, partridges and pheasants.

All these species are somewhat fussy feeders: they flick seed all over the place, which encourages rats, wastes money and produced a lawn which was 20% oats! To limit this, I built a low brick wall around the feeding station, into which we slotted a commercial game-bird feeder, which we found at a carboot for £15. This has worked superbly: the number of pheasants and partridges in particular has increased considerably! Plus, of course, the food stays dry and wholesome!

Just a little niggle, here: if the RSPB have placed the signs below around one of their Norfolk reserves as part of their education programme, as a teacher / lecturer with over 40 years experience of the National Curriculum, I have to say they've missed the mark by some distance. IMHO the signs should reflect some of the true history and importance of our native trees, rather than a bunch of new-age 'mind, body and spirit' mumbo jumbo. For example, they could have mentioned how important oak was in the construction of timber building frames, roof trusses, the warships of King Alfred's navy and vessels of exploration, or that cricket stumps are made of Ash, for example. Just a thought...

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