NATURE lovers across the Ashbourne area have taken part in one of the country’s biggest mass wildlife studies.
The RSPB invited people to spend an hour of their weekend watching birds in their garden, as part of its annual Big Garden Birdwatch campaign.
The survey, which has been running since 1979, last year saw nearly 600,000 people counting birds in their garden and has helped the organisation identify falling populations of some of the country’s best-known birds.
Starlings, house sparrows, bullfinches and dunnocks have all seen declines during the time the national survey has been runnning
This year, for the first time, the RSPB asked participants to log other wildlife species spotted in the garden including mammals such as squirrels, deer and badgers.
Richard Bashford, Big Garden Birdwatch manager said: “Big Garden Birdwatch is a great way to reaping the rewards by seeing what creatures are finding a refuge there over the winter.
“Every single person who takes part in the Big Garden Birdwatch is helping us learn about what is happening with our much-loved feathered friends.”