Archive for April, 2015


Blue tits and great tits on feeder
There is nothing better than spending a crisp winter morning enjoying birds hopping on and off your bird camera feeder or watching birds attracting their mates to your camera bird box. It can give you hours of pleasure and can become very addictive, especially when you see them playfully flitting around feeding, chirping all in your very own garden.

Problem over recent times.
It is widely stated that many natural habitats have diminished due to the cleaning up of gardens and reducing the main ecological attractors like space, water, food, and shelter. Sadly, also some of our native birds have diminished too. But, don’t despair, there is a lot you can do.

Tips on how to attract birds
Attracting birds can very easy to do and don’t have to take much time, effort of money. By doing so, you will help your local birds as well a give you a lot of pleasure. Here are a few tips on how to help attract and keep birds visiting your garden.Tip 1: Think of space for attracting birds to your garden.
What do we mean by space? Not that dark stuff in the sky, but giving your birds the right habitat to thrive in. The more inviting you make it, the more the birds will come and more enjoyment you will have. Most gardens may be restrictive in size, but you can think horizontally as well as vertically, covering the following:

  • Plant bird attractive native trees for perches and cover and shade for all birds ie: birch, hawhorn, ash etc.
  • Plant bird ornamental native trees that give a valuable food source ie Crab apples, cherries etc.
  • Plant a hedgerow around your garden to allow birds to nest and feed in ie privit, roses, hawthorn.
Perfect bird habitat
  • Plant wall and fence creepers to create a good place to hide and feed from.
  • Have a little lawn. This is ideal for encouraging larger birds to feed on worms.
  • Plant native plants of all sizes and diversities to encourage insects to stay which is vital for feeding of wild birds. Think aso of plants that yield berries, seed and fruit.
  • Leave parts of the garden to be wild (Great I know). This will allow cover and shade for insects and feeding birds. Also, try and retain some dead headed plants for feed through autumn/winter months. (I know, any excuse to leave it)

By having cover, you can place your wildlife camera in several hidden locations.

Tip 2: Think of water for attracting birds to your garden.
All birds need to drink regularly. They often have to fly for many meters or miles for a good drink to re-hydrate them and keep their feathers in good condition. Try to:

  • Create a bird bath with varied depth for various sized birds. Throw in some rocks for them to perch on.
  • Place bird bath near cover, so they can hop onto branches easily. But not too close that cats can leave out of the hedgerow.
  • Try to have moving water. Birds seem to be attracted to moving water.
  • Try to keep water clean and ice free. They will reward you by visiting all the time.

Why not try placing your wildlife camera near a bird bath to see how they drink and bathe all year round.

Great tit loving the water
Watch birds feed
Tip 3: Think of food for attracting birds to your garden.
Food is very important and can also be a great way to enjoy them too. Most birds eat most types of nuts, seeds, fats and fruit. However, here are a few tips for you to try:

  • Keep your feeder near to cover if you can. Not to close that cats or squirrels get near.
  • Try to keep all feeding stations off the ground. Although, putting a bit of feed on the ground to attract ground feeding birds. But, keep an eye out for any potential predators feeding too.
  • Keep feeding stations clean and free from disease. Pour over some boiling water now and again to clean off.
  • Don’t put feeding stations to near nest boxes as the noise may affect any occupants.
  • Feeders are perfect, try different feeds for different types of birds. Some prefer seeds, fruit and fat.
  • Experiment with various feed to attract different types of birds. Try sunflower hearts, millet seeds, varied seed mixes as well as fat products and live feed too.

Use a bird camera kit to place into your bird table. Alternatively, watch birds enjoy themselves on a camera feeder. It will give you hours of pleasure.

Tip 4: Think of shelter for attracting birds to your garden.

Along with space, shelter is very important to welcome birds to your garden. Bird boxes or nest boxes encourage birds to mate and stay within the garden. Evidence shows that many birds generations stay in the local area year on year. By having a nest box, you are giving a chance to increase numbers and with a camera nest box, you can enjoy them too. Try these tips:

  • If space allows, try placing nest boxes with different sized holes for different birds.
  • Don’t put boxes to close to each other. Some birds are territorial and therefore can affect occupancy if to close.
  • Don’t place your nest box in too exposed areas facing the worse of the weather, or in direct sun.
  • Try to position your boxes near quieter parts of the garden. Too many birds or too much noise can affect their occupancy.
  • Clean your nest box once a year to help occupancy. Autumn is a good time for this. In fact, it you are only legally allowed to empty a box during Oct/Jan (UK Countryside Act 1981)
  • Position box 1.5-5m above the ground safe from predators
  • Make sure box is dry and has ventilation holes. Our nest boxes are larger than average boxes allowing plenty of room for a variety of birds.

Try a bird camera nest box. You will not only be able to give your birds a habitat but you can enjoy them too.

Don’t forget your nest box

We hope these tips help you get the best out of your garden and attract and help increase our native bird numbers. Please let us know if there are any other good tips to add.

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watering can

How school gardens help our children grow stronger As well as helping children lead happier, healthier lives today, the research showed gardening helped them acquire the essential skills they need to fulfil their potential in a rapidly-changing world and make a positive contribution to society as a whole. The 3 Rs of School Gardening Although the benefits of gardening as a teaching tool are many and varied, we’ve identified 3 core areas in which children’s lives are radically improved. They become: 1. Ready to learn 2. Resilient 3. Responsible Specifically it found that gardening in schools encourages children to: • Become stronger, more active learners capable of thinking independently and adapting their skills and knowledge to new challenges at school and in future; • Gain a more resilient, confident and responsible approach to life so they can achieve their goals and play a positive role in society; • Learn vital job skills such as presentation skills, communication and team work, and fuel their entrepreneurial spirit; • Embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle as an important tool for success at school and beyond; •

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 fruit and veg444444

Sometimes I have a lot of food

On a very large plate.

Sometimes I cannot wait

To eat my fruit and veg.

I always know

It will help me grow,

Strengthen my bones

From tip to toe.

But sometimes I get fed up

With my fruit and veg.

I push my plate away

Then I hear my father say,

You won’t grow up

To reach the stars,

Or have the strength

Of three spacemen.”

I had to remind him then,

That I’m a teddy bear

That is no excuse,” he said,

You still have to eat

Your fruit and veg!”

Gillian Sims.

A poem from Manner Bear And Friends

Purchase this at amazon.com



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book mouse

pink hat


Molly the mouse was walking to school with Cheeky Monkey
When the wind blew off her hat into a tree,
“I will get it I will get your hat for you”
Without further ado
Cheeky Monkey chased the hat it blew into the middle of the road
Molly looked worried she knew how dangerous the road can be
“No! No! She shouted look at all the traffic can’t you see?
“You must wait at the crossroads for the little green man to appear.”
Cheeky Monkey just ran and ran he didn’t listen,the hat was near
Molly waited for his safe return
She knew Cheeky Monkey didn’t listen to her concerns
All Molly could do was sit and watch
Her brave friend weave and dodge
The traffic in his plight to capture her hat
Molly just wanted her friend back
That is why it is always best
To use the green cross code
You will always be safe on the roads

Gillian Sims

This poem was taken from Manners Bear And Friends my new children’s poetry book  now available at Waterstone’s

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do not talk 

Miss prim went to visit her uncle in Pond lane

She clung to her umbrella in the pouring rain

A car stopped at her side

The driver asked if he could give her a ride,

Miss Prim looked at the strange man

She was very nervous and just ran and ran

It wasn’t far now to her uncles house

A few more steps and she would be safe and sound,

Miss Prim was so glad when her uncle opened his door

He seemed so surprised at what he saw

why are you crying” he asked Miss Prim,

She wiped her tears.”Can I come in?”

Her uncle found out about the man in the car

Don’t worry my dear he won’t get very far.”

He quickly picked up the phone,

I will tell the Police before you go home.”

Miss Prim felt so relieved

So glad that she hadn’t spoke to the stranger

So glad that she wasn’t in any danger

Gillian Sims

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The wind blows on cliffs so high

All you can hear is the seagulls cry

The crashing waves

Echoes in the smugglers caves

Children walking on the cobbled beach

You can hear the crunching

Beneath their feet

Fisherman trawling

Crabs are crawling

To escape

The fisherman’s bait

The sea is rolling waves so high

All you can hear is the seagulls cry

They sit and wait for the fisherman’s trawl

On Hastings cobbled beach at early dawn

Gillian Sims

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I’m learning to ride a bike,
And I’m learning to fly on my own,
And I’m learning to sing,
Not to cry, when I fall,
And I’m learning not to give up,
As I ride though life,
And I’m learning to try try try again,
To get back up on that bike,
And I’m learning (although it sometimes really hurts me) ,
Not to run away from pain,
And I’m learning to fly high,
While, I speed through the hills of life,
And I’m learning that it’s much,
Much easier to look ahead at my future path,
Then looking in my mirror,
To see the past.

 by Ronald Chapman

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Look at me go
I’m riding a bicycle
It’s so much more fun
Than that small little tricycle
I go up the driveway
And then I turn back
It isn’t so hard
I think I’ve got the knack
The feel of the wind
On my face a quite like
Nothing compares to it
-Rinding my bike

Author: Sharon Froese

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Learning to ride a bike is a developmental milestone in the life of a child. The bicycle, a child’s first vehicle, is a source of pride and a symbol of independence and freedom. Yet all too often children are seriously injured, or even killed, when they fail to follow basic bicycle safety rules. The following is a list of common bicycle safety myths, coupled with the correct information you need to teach your children about safe bike riding. These facts will help you and your children make every bike ride safe.

Myth: My child doesn’t need to wear a helmet on short rides around the neighborhood.

Fact: Your child needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home. Many accidents happen in driveways, on sidewalks, and on bike paths, not just on streets. In fact, the majority of bike crashes happen near home. A helmet protects your child from serious injury, and should always be worn. And remember, wearing a helmet at all times helps children develop the helmet habit.

Myth: A football helmet will work just as well as a bicycle helmet.

Fact: Only a bicycle helmet is made specifically to protect the head from any fall that may occur while biking. Other helmets or hard hats are made to protect the head from other types of injury. Never allow your child to wear another type of helmet when riding a bike.

Myth: I need to buy a bicycle for my child to grow into.

Fact: Oversized bikes are especially dangerous. Your child does not have the skills and coordination needed to handle a bigger bike and may lose control. Your child should be able to sit on the seat, with hands on the handlebars, and place the balls of both feet on the ground. Your child’s first bike should also be equipped with footbrakes, since your children’s hand muscles and coordination are not mature enough to control hand brakes.

Myth: It’s safer for my child to ride facing traffic.

Fact: Your child should always ride on the right, with traffic. Riding against traffic confuses or surprises drivers. Almost one fourth of bicycle-car collisions result from bicyclists riding against traffic.

Myth: Children shouldn’t use hand signals, because signaling may cause them to lose control of their bikes.

Fact: Hand signals are an important part of the rules of the road and should be taught to all children before they begin to ride in the street. They are an important communication link between cyclists and motorists. Any child who does not have the skills necessary to use hand signals without falling or swerving shouldn’t be riding in the street to begin with. Many accidents involving older children occur when they fail to signal motorists as to their intended actions.

Myth: Bike reflectors and a reflective vest will make it safe for my child to ride at night.

Fact: It’s never safe for your child to ride a bike at night. Night riding requires special skills and special equipment. Few youngsters are equipped with either. Never allow your child to ride at dusk or after dark.

Myth: I don’t need to teach my child all of this bicycle safety stuff. I was never injured as a child. Biking is just meant to be fun.

Fact: Riding a bike is fun – if it’s done safely. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize hundreds of thousands of children are seriously injured each year in bicycle falls. Worse still, more than 600 children die from them each year. While you may have been lucky enough to survive childhood without a serious bicycle-related injury, you shouldn’t count on luck to protect your child.

Teach your child these basic safety rules:

  1. Wear a helmet.
  2. Ride on the right side, with traffic.
  3. Use appropriate hand signals.
  4. Respect traffic signals.

Basic safety measures like these can keep bicycle riding enjoyable and safe for your child. 


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My Guru forbade me
To touch you, ever!
But I was allowed to
See you, talk to you,
Stand close to you,
Less any maneuver.

So did I do, got close to you
And talked my heart out.
Didn’t touch you,
Though I wanted to,
As you kept smiling at me
All throughout.

My Guru forbade me
To come near you and
Stand close.
But he gave me an allowance
Of just a yard’s distance,
From nose to nose.

I was still much happy
As I could communicate
Audibly and visually.
But my Guru was not willing
To allow a romance so thrilling
To go on indefinitely.

Finally, my Guru forbade me
To be in your proximity,
Even to see you from afar.
So in my dreams I started
Seeing you as I wanted,
With no Guru standing near.

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SO many fruits come from roses
From the rose of all roses
From the unfolded rose
Rose of all the world.

Admit that apples and strawberries and peaches and pears
  and blackberries
Are all Rosaceae,
Issue of the explicit rose,
The open-countenanced, skyward-smiling rose.

What then of the vine?
Oh, what of the tendrilled vine?

Ours is the universe of the unfolded rose,
The explicit,
The candid revelation.

But long ago, oh, long ago
Before the rose began to simper supreme,
Before the rose of all roses, rose of all the world, was even
  in bud,
Before the glaciers were gathered up in a bunch out of the
  unsettled seas and winds,
Or else before they had been let down again, in Noah’s flood,
There was another world, a dusky, flowerless, tendrilled
And creatures webbed and marshy,
And on the margin, men soft-footed and pristine,
Still, and sensitive, and active,
Audile, tactile sensitiveness as of a tendril which orientates
  and reaches out,
Reaching out and grasping by an instinct more delicate than
  the moon’s as she feels for the tides.

Of which world, the vine was the invisible rose,
Before petals spread, before colour made its disturbance,
  before eyes saw too much.

In a green, muddy, web-foot, unutterably songless world
The vine was rose of all roses.

There were no poppies or carnations,
Hardly a greenish lily, watery faint.
Green, dim, invisible flourishing of vines
Royally gesticulate.

Look now even now, how it keeps its power of invisibility!
Look how black, how blue-black, how globed in Egyptian
Dropping among his leaves, hangs the dark grape!
See him there, the swart, so palpably invisible:
Whom shall we ask about him?

The negro might know a little.
When the vine was rose, Gods were dark-skinned.
Bacchus is a dream’s dream.
Once God was all negroid, as now he is fair.
But it’s so long ago, the ancient Bushman has forgotten more
  utterly than we, who have never known.

For we are on the brink of re-remembrance.
Which, I suppose, is why America has gone dry.
Our pale day is sinking into twilight,
And if we sip the wine, we find dreams coming upon us
Out of the imminent night.
Nay, we find ourselves crossing the fern-scented frontiers
Of the world before the floods, where man was dark and evasive
And the tiny vine-flower rose of all roses, perfumed,
And all in naked communion communicating as now our
  clothed vision can never communicate.
Vistas, down dark avenues
As we sip the wine.

The grape is swart, the avenues dusky and tendrilled, subtly
But we, as we start awake, clutch at our vistas democratic,
  boulevards, tram-cars, policemen.
Give us our own back
Let us go to the soda-fountain, to get sober.

Soberness, sobriety.
It is like the agonised perverseness of a child heavy with
  sleep, yet fighting, fighting to keep awake;
Soberness, sobriety, with heavy eyes propped open.

Dusky are the avenues of wine,
And we must cross the frontiers, though we will not,
Of the lost, fern-scented world:
Take the fern-seed on our lips,
Close the eyes, and go
Down the tendrilled avenues of wine and the other world.

D. H. Lawrence

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