The last of the house martins seem to have passed through. Since the end of the summer we’ve watched groups of them wheeling high above the garden as they pause to feed up before making a push for their winter quarters in warmer climes. Their final departure marks the end of the season at Flatford Wildlife Garden and as the robin’s melancholy autumn song rings from the walnut tree, we close for the winter. Our wonderful volunteer gardeners will still be around to keep an eye on things and plan for the seasons to come though, and we’ll make sure that the bird feeders are regularly topped up.
However, there are still a few more opportunities to visit the garden this year. We’ll be joining with our neighbours, the National Trust, in kicking off some early yuletide celebrations over two weekends: November 26 and 27 and December 3 and 4, from 11am to 4pm each day.
The National Trust will be demonstrating what a Tudor Christmas would be like at Valley Farm, and we’d love you to join us, the RSPB, at the wildlife garden and inside the barn where you’ll find a warm welcome and plenty of information about how to make your garden more wildlife friendly. Our family activities will include preparing for a ‘Green Christmas’. Children will be invited to join in making simple decorations, including seasonal bird feeders, either to hang on our own special tree outside or to take home.
There will also be our own take on the ancient rituals of wassailing in our miniature orchard – this will involve a chosen apple tree, some wassail-soaked toast and the making of some noise, so be prepared to join in a rhyme and bang some pots.
Among other treats, we’re also hopeful that the green Mother Christmas will be calling in, so why not break away from the bling for a while and come and join us? For full details of activities and future events visit: www.rspb.org.uk/flatford
If you have some spare time available and would be interested in volunteering with us, do get in touch for information about the range of roles available. Please either ring 01206 391153 or email [email protected] for more details. We look forward to hearing from you.
Sharon Barker; Visitor Experience Officer, RSPB Flatford Wildlife Garden.