Getting the children involved Even without Summer.

By Paul Hervey-Brookes, November 10

Even without Summer you can still get the children involved

The time for playing outdoors has passed as the cold weather increases. But there are plenty of ways to get the children involved and busy in the garden. One of the best is to keep the birds happy!

A bird cake is quick and easy to make. For this you will need bird seed, lard, grated cheese and raisins. Also a mixing bowl, yoghurt pots, string and scissors.

Let the lard warm to room temperature, cut into small pieces and place in mixing bowl. Add all the other ingredients and knead together until it resembles cake mix. Take the yoghurt pot and pierce the bottom to thread string through and tie a knot inside. Leave the string long enough to be able to attach to bird table or tree. Then fill the pot with the mixture and place in the fridge for approx 1 hour to set.

Hang out in the garden and watch the birds enjoy!


Bird feeders can be quite expensive but you can make your own. For this you will need plastic drink bottles,scissors,string and bird seed.

Cut a hole in the side of the bottle to allow the birds to get the seeds easily but not too big as the seeds will fall out. Make a few holes in the bottom to allow for water to drain out, pierce a hole in the top and thread through the string. Put in the seed and hang in the garden. (If the feeder starts to wear out or grow mould it an easily be changed for a new one)

Bird feeders can be made simply from a variety of recyclable materials. Use up your pumpkin from Halloween by filling it with seed, old milk cartons can be adapted easily , glue a cup to a saucer and hang from a branch, or even use the husk of an old coconut and pine cones dipped in the food mixture!

Birds also need feeding in the summer as after nesting they have little beaks to feed! Old cardboard roll tubes are ideal for this. Spread peanut butter onto the tubes and then roll in birdseed. these can be threaded onto branches or hung from the shed.

With all of these please be aware of nut allergies.


Paul has his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks and Spencers.

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