THE countdown to the world’s biggest garden wildlife survey has begun — and more people in Cumbria than ever before are being called upon to take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.

The popular event encourages all ages to simply count wildlife in gardens and local parks for one hour on January 25 and 26, before reporting the findings to the RSPB website.

Join staff and volunteers from the RSPB at the Grizedale Visitor Centre on these dates for tips on attracting wild visitors to gardens and how to make bird feeders. The free event will run from 11am to 4pm. Booking is essential.

Jo Keene, RSPB People Engagement Manager in Northern England, said: “Over half a million people took part last year, which is fantastic.

“But it’s not just the birds which need our help - hedgehogs have disappeared in the last 25 years so we also want to hear if you have ever seen other wildlife such as badgers, squirrels or frogs in your garden or local park.”

To register, go to: birdwatch