Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Bird Feeding Station in Flora Field – 2019

In 2019 Lancaster and District Bird Watching Society (LDBWS), impressed by the numbers of over-wintering birds using the bird-food margins, approached the Fairfield Association to suggest that we install feeding tables close to the double gates leading into Flora Field.

At the same time a Fairfield member suggested a sightings board, for recording wildlife.

From late autumn to spring

Two bespoke low-rise tables are now in place each year from late autumn to spring. These are cleaned, disinfected, and topped up daily by volunteers from LDBWS and Fairfield. We also scatter bird seed on the ground in order to benefit terrestrial feeders like linnets and skylarks.

Songbirds such as tits, chaffinches, and reed bunting, are regular users with occasional rarer sightings such as brambling (winter visitors from Scandinavia). We are seeing an increase in breeding reed buntings in the reserve, possibly as a result. In the first few years we also saw large numbers of linnets, but these are currently seldom seen in the area. Inevitably larger birds like the non-native pheasant (along with non-native Grey Squirrels) are also attracted by this local abundance of food. We mitigate the impact of these voracious eaters by scattering seed thinly on the tables and widely on the ground.

Sightings board

Sightings of birds seen in the locality are regularly written on the board and summarised in LDBWS websites and publications.

This facility has been popular with the public, being especially valued during the two covid lockdowns.