Wildlife to be encouraged at Haven Nursing Centre in Peacehaven

A CARE home in Peacehaven is joining forces with the RSPB to encourage more wildlife in its garden.

The RSPB hopes the initiative will spark an interest in wildlife for residents at Haven Nursing Centre.

Its Homes for Wildlife project is also taking place at other care homes around East Sussex.

RSPB south east media officer Sophie McCallum said: “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.

“We hope both people and wildlife will reap the rewards of this partnership.”

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 project will enable Bupa residents to take part in wildlife related activities, such as bird watching, building and painting nest boxes or where possible, helping staff to create new habitats like ponds, bog gardens and wildflower meadows.

Homes for Wildlife was piloted in a number of Bupa care homes in their Midlands and Wales region in 2010.

A training day was jointly hosted by the RSPB and Bupa offering staff the chance to learn how to identify opportunities to make the grounds of their homes more appealing to wildlife.

They were also given ideas on how to involve residents, of all capabilities, in wildlife related activities.