Wildlife Watch Leaders - Eling Tide Mill

Eling Tide Mill Experience Visitors' Centre , Eling Lane,
Southampton, Hampshire, SO40 9GH

Volunteer leaders and assistants organise activities to encourage and inspire an interest in wildlife, ranging from nature walks, to tree planting and willow work. You must enjoy working with…

Policy & Campaigns Officer

Beechcroft House, Vicarage Lane, Curdridge, Hampshire, SO32 2DP
circa £23k-£24k p.a depending upon qualifications and experience
Closing date:

This is an exciting opportunity for a policy, public affairs or campaigns professional to help create a wilder future for our two counties. We are looking for a highly motivated, creative and…

Corporate Fundraising Manager

Beechcroft House, Vicarage Lane, Curdridge, Hampshire, SO32 2DP
circa £32 p.a depending upon qualifications and experience
Closing date:

This role is an exciting opportunity for an experienced Corporate Fundraising Manager to develop and grow the Trusts corporate fundraising programme. Working alongside the Director of Fundraising…

HR Business Partner

Beechcroft House, Vicarage Lane, Curdridge, Hampshire, SO32 2DP
circa £35k-£37k p.a depending upon qualifications and experience
Closing date:

This role is an exciting opportunity for a qualified HR Business Partner to oversee all human resources operations of the Trust and ensure they’re aligned with our business goals.

Garden Birds

Garden Birds

Over recent years, numbers of our once-common garden birds have dropped dramatically in the wake of increased development, intensification of farming, and habitat loss - by up to 71% for some birds.

Learn how you can help and how to identify different birds below.

Chaffinch © Ian Cameron-Reid

Help The Birds in Your Garden

Garden birds do have a lifeline- your garden. Together, the 16 million gardens across the UK form an area for wildlife larger than all our National Nature Reserves. This patchwork of habitats helps our wildlife to move about freely, forming a vast living landscape that links urban green spaces with the wider countryside. Encouraging birds to visit your garden is easy and a great way to help! 

Click here for tips on how to encourage wildlife into your garden.

Help The Birds in Your Area

We manage over 28,000 acres of reserves which are havens for rare and threatened species and habitats.  We give wildlife a voice, campaigning on wildlife issues and focus on protecting local wildlife.

The best way to help us is through membership.  Our 20,000 members are critical to all the work we do protecting local wildlife - click here to learn more about membership and how you can get involved.

There are a whole range of other ways to help.  If you want to find out more about how you can help us help local wildlife please visit the Support Us page. 

Which Birds Am I Likely To See in My Garden?

Typically, males are more distinguishable than females. Click through to browse the species pages for more details about these birds. The UK's 10 most common garden visitors are:

Sparrow in the snow

© Darin Smith

House Sparrow

Males (pictured) are streaky brown above and grey below, with chestnut-and-white wings, a black bib and a grey cap. Females and juveniles are duller.


© David Kilbey


Adults (pictured) are oily-black with a purple-and-green sheen, and tiny, beige spots in winter. Juveniles are dark grey-brown.

Blue Tit VHF (c) Nicholas Watts

Blue tit © Nicholas Watts, Vine House Farm Bird Food

Blue Tit

Greeny-blue above and yellow below, with a blue cap, white cheeks, black eyestripes, and a blue tail and wings.

Blackbird © Neil Aldridge

Blackbird © Neil Aldridge


Males (pictured) are black with a yellow bill and yellow ring around the eye. Females and juveniles are dark brown.


WildNet - Amy Lewis


Grey above, with a pink breast, white neck patch and white patches on the wings.


Gingery-brown above and pale below, with black-and-yellow wings, a black crown, white cheeks and a red face.


Males have blue-grey crowns, brown backs and pink breasts. Females are brown, with white shoulder patches and wingbars.

Great Tit © A. Powling

Great Tit © A. Powling

Great Tit

Green above and yellow below, with a black head, white cheeks, and black stripe down its breast.

Robin © Stewart McDonald

Robin © Stewart McDonald


Brown above, with a white belly and red breast. Juveniles are mottled gold and brown.

Long Tailed Tit © John Windust

Long Tailed Tit © John Windust

Long-tailed Tit

Black, white and pink above, and pale pink below, with a long, black-and-white tail, a white head, and a broad, black stripe above the eye.

Other species that visit gardens include carrion crows, magpies, jackdaws, collared doves, dunnocks, wrens, song thrushes, greenfinches, coal tits, swifts, house martins, and green and great spotted woodpeckers. Find out more about these birds on our species explorer.

Which rarer birds might visit?

If you live close to countryside, you might find traditional farmland or woodland species visiting, particularly in winter when food is scarce. Look out for chiffchaffs, siskins, yellowhammers, bullfinches, nuthatches, treecreepers, lesser redpolls, tawny owls, sparrowhawks, jays, cuckoos, mistle thrushes, blackcaps, goldcrests and pied flycatchers. Winter garden visitors may also include migrant bramblings, waxwings, redwings and fieldfares. If you have a pond in the garden, you might find herons and other waterbirds popping in.

How can I encourage birds to visit my garden?

Whether you have a small, city patch or acres of fields, you can encourage birds to visit your garden:

  • Put out suitable food on a birdtable and in feeders – even one that sticks to a window will do the trick!
  • Birds eat different things: try seeds for sparrows and finches, fat balls for tits, and fruit and worms for thrushes and robins. As long as it’s not mouldy, you can also pop out leftovers like fruit cake, unsalted nuts, and over-ripe apples and pears
  • The amount of food you need to supply will vary depending on the season and weather; try to put out only what will get eaten, so there’s nothing left to go off
  • Don’t forget to provide fresh water (in saucer or even bin lid will do) as well, and make sure you clean feeders and tables regularly to avoid disease
  • Provide places for birds to nest and rest safely by planting native trees and shrubs, or putting up nest boxes

How can I help birds?

The Wildlife Trusts manage many nature reserves for the benefit of all kinds of birds. By volunteering for your local Trust, you can help too!


Wildlife Gardening

Facts and tips to encourage wildlife into your garden

Learn more

Wildlife gardening © Tom Marshall

Vine House Farm Bird Food

Vine House Farm is an award-winning wildlife-friendly farm, which gives 4% of all its takings from the sale of bird food, feeders, bird tables, baths and nest boxes to The Wildlife Trusts.

Feed the birds

© Darin Smith

Business Resources Apprentice

Beechcroft House, Vicarage Lane, Curdridge, Hampshire, SO32 2DP
Apprentice salary of £5.50 per hour
Closing date:

Apprentice salary of £5.50 for a full time, 35 hours per week role, fixed term contract of 15-18 months; to qualify for a Business Administration Standard Level 3 qualification; post based at…

East Wight Wetlands Officer - Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight, Variety of sites across the Island.
circa £24k-£25k depending upon qualifications and experience
Closing date:

Salary Circa £24k-£25k depending on qualifications and experience; full-time 35 hours per week; permanent contract; based at Bouldnor Forest, Isle of Wight

As part of the Solent & Isle…

Solent seafood survey

Solent seafood survey

Mackerel © Toby Roxburgh/2020VISION

Do you live near the Solent? One of our Marine Champions would like to know about your seafood preferences as part of an MSc research project. Their results will also be used by the Secrets of the Solent team, and our evaluation partners Heritage Insider, to shape our celebration of sustainable fishing in the area.

By taking this survey, you'll be helping us to better understand the part seafood plays in the lives of local people. The survey should take around ten minutes to complete. You can find more information about the research project it forms part of in the participant information sheet.

Current seafood preferences

Do you eat seafood?
If yes, where do you eat it? (choose one or more)
When buying or eating seafood, how important do you consider the following? (1 = very important and 5 = not at all important)
Which seafood certification labels have you heard of? (choose one or more)

Solent seafood

Are you aware that there is a fishing industry in the Solent?
Would you try Solent clams, and if so how? (choose one or more)
Would you try Solent crabs, and if so how? (choose one or more)
Would you try Solent cuttlefish, and if so how? (choose one or more)
Would you try Solent slipper limpets, and if so how? (choose one or more)
Would you try Solent whelks, and if so how? (choose one or more)
What would encourage you to eat Solent seafood? (choose one or more)

About you

Please provide your details for our records. We will only contact you about the information you have provided in this survey, and only if you give your permision below. For more information on how your data will be used, please see the participant information sheet.
Are you happy to have a follow-up chat to talk about your views in more detail, as part of the MSc research project?
Are you happy to be contacted at a later date (before September 2022) to see if your knowledge or feelings have changed?

Watercress & Winterbournes survey

Watercress & Winterbournes development survey

Split level of the River Itchen © Linda Pitkin/2020 VISION

Watercress & Winterbournes is a landscape partnership which is celebrating and protecting the wildlife and heritage of our chalk streams. We're currently in our development phase, and are working closely with local communities to shape the partnership's activities. If you live in one of our catchment areas we'd love to hear your views - check the map below (click to enlarge) to see where you fit.

By taking this survey, you'll help us to improve our valuable chalk stream environments and explore the fascinating human histories that have shaped them. If you choose not to provide your contact details your answers will be completely anonymous. The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete.

Your chalk stream

How would you describe your chalk stream? (choose one or more)
How do you feel when you are by your stream? (choose one or more)
What do you do on or by your chalk stream? (choose one or more)
What are the biggest threats to your chalk stream? (choose one or more)

Water efficiency project

Through the project we want to encourage a wide range of people to think about where their water comes from and what effect this has on the local chalk streams. We are keen to involve schools and other groups in water efficiency challenges and testing water-friendly products.

Literary inspirations project

Watercress and Winterbournes includes plans for a Literary Inspiration project in its third year (2022). The project will include local events and activities which will celebrate local literary works featuring the chalk streams, whether that is the streams themselves, fisheries, natural history, watercress, or milling.

Key authors inspired by the area include Richard Adams (Watership Down) and Reverend Charles Kingsley (The Water Babies). We also want to encourage local people to produce their own literary masterpieces inspired by their local chalk stream heritage and will support this by running a literary competition for young people.

The project will culminate in a Headwaters literary festival weekend with lots of exhibitions and activities and readings and prize-giving involving the winners from the literary competition. 

Open Rivers scheme

We hope to develop a scheme where landowners would be encouraged to open up access to private stretches along local chalk streams on a few weekends each year for guided walks or organised visits (similar to the National Garden Scheme).

Grant scheme

We are looking to run a simple grant scheme, which would allow local schools and community groups to apply for resources to deliver their own local heritage projects. We are currently proposing to offer grants of up to £500.

These projects could include hosting photo exhibitions of local heritage, creating online information about local heritage, celebrating the local chalk stream, exploring local customs and traditions, or managing the chalk stream environment with volunteers and appropriate equipment.

A wide range of groups will be eligible to apply, including Women's Institutes, Men's Shed groups, U3A groups, heritage groups, and uniformed groups (e.g. Scouts and Brownies).