YOUNGSTERS at a nursery have been using visiting birds as a learning opportunity.

Children who attend Busy Bees in Ledbury have been watching their feathered friends visiting their garden.

Emma Davis, manager of Busy Bees in Ledbury, said: “The colder weather has seen an increase of birds to our garden.

“Children have heard them in the trees, tweeting and chirping as they were on the look out for food.

"We thought about how we could help them and the children decided it would be a good idea to make bird feeders.”

She added: “Children threaded Cheerios on to pipe cleaners which they hung in the trees.

"We also mixed up bird seed and lard, giving the children lots of opportunity to think about quantities, numbers and capacity.

“With the birds flocking to our garden, it was a great opportunity to have a go at identifying some.”

And now the youngsters are already looking forward to some more exciting bird watching in the spring.

Mrs Davis said the children had been identifying the visitors to the garden at The Hive, off Bye Street.

She added: “Using a chart which came with our Big Garden Birdwatch pack from the RSPB, we had a go at matching the birds to the pictures. We spotted robins, pigeons, blackbirds, sparrows and blue tits.

“Now the children have shown such an interest in the birds visiting our garden, we’d like to make some bird boxes to encourage nesting birds this spring.

"If anyone is able to help with this, we’d welcome them getting in touch.”

The mission of the RSPB is to “together create bigger, better, more joined-up spaces to save our wildlife, and our shared home”.

The organisation’s Big Garden Birdwatch is running until February 16 for results sent online and until February 11 for groups, and sending them by post.

RSPB Director of Communications, Rebecca Munro said: “With nearly half a million people now regularly taking part, coupled with 40 years’ worth of data, Big Garden Birdwatch allows us to understand how birds are doing. With results from so many gardens, we are able to create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers across the UK.”