People in Cumbria are being encouraged to take part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch later this month.

For the last 40 years, volunteers across the country have committed an hour each to log birds in their gardens or other outdoor space in the largest garden wildlife citizen science project of its kind.

During that time, hundreds of thousands of people, including those across Cumbria, have volunteered their time providing the RSPB with over 8 million hours of monitoring garden birds.

This year's Big Garden Birdwatch project takes place on January 26-28 and the charity is encouraging participants in Cumbria to share their birdwatch stories on social media using #BigGardenBirdWatch.

For the project, people are asked to spend an hour watching and recording the birds in their garden or local green space, and send their results to the RSPB.

Close to half-a-million people join in the Birdwatch every year, with 6,600 people across Cumbria taking part in 2018.

Events are on offer across the county to help people prepare for the project, from discovering how to attract more wildlife to your garden to learning how to identify the creatures that live on your doorstep.

A Big Garden Birdwatch wild challenge trail will take place at RSPB Leighton Moss near Arnside throughout the month.

More details for can be found at

On January 19-20, the RSPB will be on hand from 10am to 5pm at Houghton Hall Garden Centre, Carlisle, with free garden bird activities and tips and advice on taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch.

People can meet the RSPB at Whinlatter Forest near Keswick and Grizedale Forest near Hawkshead on January 26 to 27 between 10am and 3pm to get tips on getting involved in the Big Garden Birdwatch and take part in free garden bird activities.

Mike Clarke, RSPB chief executive, said: “Everyone has a role to play in saving nature and protecting our wildlife. Big Garden Birdwatch participants have made a significant contribution to monitoring garden bird numbers over the past four decades. Those taking part work together as part of a community with thousands of other Big Garden Birdwatchers, to help the RSPB’s work to protect birds, other wildlife and the places they live.

“Reaching 40 years is a huge achievement and shows just how passionate people across the UK are about their wildlife. The survey started as a winter activity for our youth members. It’s now the largest garden wildlife survey in the world and appeals to both children and adults because it’s an enjoyable, easy, inclusive activity that anyone can do, and a great opportunity to connect with nature.”

As well as counting birds, the RSPB is once again asking participants to log some of the other wildlife they have seen throughout the year. This year, people are being asked to look out for badgers, foxes, grey squirrels, red squirrels, muntjac deer, roe deer, frogs and toads.

For a FREE 40th anniversary Big Garden Birdwatch pack, which includes a bird identification chart, plus an RSPB shop voucher and advice to help attract wildlife to your garden, text BIRD to 70030 or visit

A parralel event, the RSPB Big Schools' Birdwatch, takes place during the first half of spring term until February 22.

More than 60,000 schoolchildren, including over 780 in Cumbria, spent an hour in nature counting birds in 2018.

For more details visit