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Senior citizens to the rescue!

 
Created on 19/01/2011 @ 12:18
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The RSPB has joined forces with Bupa to bring wildlife gardening to 12 of the health and care company’s care homes in Powys this year.
 
Using its Homes for Wildlife project, the RSPB hopes to encourage many species that are currently in decline in British gardens to the care homes, from house sparrows and song thrushes to butterflies, bees and hedgehogs.
 
The wildlife charity hopes that as well as creating more homes for birds and other creatures, the initiative will reignite a passion for wildlife among care home residents from their childhoods or spark a new interest.
 
Once the project is established, it will also provide Bupa's residents with the opportunity to take part in wildlife related activities. Whether this be watching and observing birds on window feeders,  building and painting nest boxes or where possible, helping staff to create  new habitats like ponds , bog gardens  and wildflower meadows , residents will be offered a wide range of extra activities and a wealth of benefits.
 
Homes for Wildlife was piloted in a number of Bupa care homes in the Midlands and Wales in 2010. Almost 90% of those taking part in the pilot rated it ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’ encouraging Bupa to roll-out the programme across their UK homes in 2011.
 
RSPB research indicates that for the elderly or those recovering from illness, close access to nature is important. The benefits of gardening also include increased physical and mental activity, a sense of purpose, and opportunities to develop friendships.
 
Mike Walker, reserve manager at RSPB Lake Vyrnwy, said: “There’s been loads of enthusiasm from staff and residents already about the benefits of this project. We know that access to wildlife and green spaces is important for people, especially the elderly or those recovering from illness. The benefits of gardening also include increased physical and mental activity, a sense of purpose and opportunities to develop friendships.
 
“Gardens and outdoor spaces are becoming increasingly important refuges for our native wildlife. As well as following our wildlife gardening advice, staff and residents will be able to monitor their results by taking part in regular wildlife surveys throughout the year.”
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