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Watch The Birdie! Care Home Nature Lovers Install Webcam To Track Garden Wildlife

Nature lovers at a Dorset dementia care home are set for a summer of wildlife watching whatever the weather.

A webcam has been positioned in the garden at Colten Care’s The Aldbury in Poole to capture goings-on in and around a bug hotel and hedgehog home specially built by residents.

It means live footage of visiting wildlife can be enjoyed from the comfort of the residents’ lounge and bedrooms, a particular benefit for those with mobility needs.

To complement the camera, residents have used their weekly garden club meetings to build and furnish the bug hotel and hedgehog home and make the outdoor space as attractive to nature as possible.

Helped by Canford School students Megan Mowbray and Claire Robinson, both regular visitors to the home, residents went out on garden walks to collect twigs which they tied together with twine.

The twigs, along with bamboo and other construction materials such as tins, pallets, bricks and logs donated by staff, made the bug accommodation ‘posh and palacial’ according to one resident.

Companion Melissa Siat said: “Joyce, one of our residents, came up with a name for the bug house. She said ‘Why don’t we call it Buginham Palace? We’re posh here, we don’t do hotels, we have palaces instead’. We all loved that, so Buginham Palace it is. Megan and Claire even painted a beautiful sign with the name.”

As the bug ‘palace’ took shape, residents had similar fun using twigs, leaves and an upcycled flower basket frame to make the hedgehog home.

They also sanded down and repainted the home’s existing bird boxes, added more bird feeders and planted mixed wildflower seeds to attract bees and butterflies.

Badgers, foxes, squirrels, blue tits, blackbirds and nuthatches are among the creatures already spotted since the home’s ‘Springwatch’ project began.

Advice on animal safety and wellbeing has been provided by Dorset-based Wildlife in Need, the main charity The Aldbury residents have chosen to support this year.

Melissa said: “Our residents love spending time in our garden and seeing the nature it brings to them. Those with mobility issues are especially enjoying the opportunity to ‘watch the action’ beamed in from the webcam. That was an idea put forward by married couple residents Pam and Tony Husband. Watching the live images is like The Aldbury’s very own ‘Springwatch hour’.

“The main aim is to attract wildlife into our garden for everyone to enjoy. As well as the birds flying in during the day, it is amazing to see foxes and badgers playing in our garden in the evenings. This is a very popular initiative and we can’t wait for the warmer summer days and the wildlife they will attract.”

Images from the webcam have already been compiled into a photo album while video clips are being shown on screens in different parts of the home.

Melissa added that towards the end of the year residents will choose pictures for a 2025 calendar they will produce and sell to raise money for Wildlife in Need.

 

 
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