Durham Chorister School pupils get hide ready for RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Pupils James Farr, eight, and Beth Stenlake, eight, from Durham Chorister School scatter bird seed near the river in Durham as part of the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch campaign.

Pupils James Farr, eight, and Beth Stenlake, eight, from Durham Chorister School scatter bird seed near the river in Durham as part of the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch campaign.

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YOUNGSTERS have been a hard at work preparing a hide for this weekend’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

About 30 boarders at The Chorister School, Durham City, have been involved in the project, which is part of a wider Heritage Lottery-funded project to develop the woodland and riverside areas surrounding Durham Cathedral.

On Saturday ( January 25) the Cathedral will hold an event as part of the national RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

Rachel Faulkner-Walford, boarding housemistress, who led the project, said: “The children wanted to get involved with a community project and we thought that helping to look after the bird hide would be very worthwhile.

“They are very excited that it will be used during the RSPB Birdwatch events at the Cathedral, but we also felt it was important for them to do something that benefits other children too.

"School children from across County Durham will be able to come and use the hide and it is nice for our pupils to look after something that their peers can enjoy.”

The team of pupils have been going to the bird hide every Saturday to monitor the species in the area and restock the food supplies.

Julie Gannon Gowland, project officer from the Woodlands and Riverbanks team at Durham Cathedral, said: “It is wonderful having a team of young and enthusiastic volunteers to help with the bird hide.

“Not only will children from across the county benefit, but the Chorister School pupils have helped make sure the hide is ready for our big RSPB Big Garden event on Saturday too, where local people and visitors will be helping us take part in one of Britain’s biggest ever birdlife surveys.”

The event starts at 10am with walks to the bird hides on the riverbanks at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm. There are also a series of family-friendly arts and craft activities in the Cathedral’s Education centre from 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm making bird feeders, bird masks and playing bird bingo.

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