This year was first time that Goodwood Estate has taken part in the RSPB Garden Watch. With the help of our residents on the estate, they helped us gather and share the results of the garden bird populations from all corners of the estate. In gaining information about the types of birds we have and where they are, we can enhance and restore existing habitats, as well as build new areas for the birds to forage, nest and nurture their young.
The RSPB Garden Watch at Goodwood
We had a great response from our Goodwood residents and we hope that this is an initiative that will grow in participation for future years. Next year, we will be able to compare the bird species and monitor populations against this year’s results, which will help show any anomalies or reasons to celebrate, such as an increase in population numbers or the arrival of red listed species.
Garden birds are an essential part of the ecosystem for the estate. They are a completely natural and non-toxic way to manage pests in gardens and neighbouring fields. Their typical diet consists of insects such as aphids, caterpillars mosquitoes, spiders, earwigs, beetles and moths, but they also enjoy garden weeds which makes them very handy gardeners! Finally, they can help with pollination and large-scale seed dispersal which is a natural mechanism for seeds being transported to new sites to germinate, which in turn, increases biodiversity in a larger area.
The estate encourages the nesting and general activity of garden bird species through local initiatives such as traditionally laid hedges, wildflower strips and the creation of bird boxes. By increasing the density of the hedges, it offers smaller birds shelter from the elements and predators whilst also providing them with a habitat which is rich in both vegetation and insects. The farm has also received funding from the Government which allows us to grow wildflower strips at the edges of some fields, providing shelter and a variety of food to a huge range of species. Finally, and more recently, we have arranged for a variety of garden bird boxes to be created and installed around the estate to encourage birds to reside on the estate.
For more information on our environment, visit https://www.goodwood.com/estate/our-environment/