MEL Stride, MP for Central Devon, was delighted to receive the news that his constituency recorded the fifth highest number of participants in the RSPB's 2024 Big Garden Birdwatch.

The Big Garden Birdwatch is the world’s largest garden wildlife survey and helps the RSPB to gain an insight into how different species of garden birds are faring.

Every year for the past 46 years, the RSPB has asked people across the UK to spend an hour birdwatching in their garden, from a balcony, or in a local green-space.

The birdwatch always takes place during the winter, as this is the time that domestic wildlife tends to be most in need of help.

Between January 26 and 28, more than 600,000 people across the country came together to count 9.7 million birds, with more than 80 different species being recorded.

A total of 2,302 people in Central Devon contributed towards the data collected this year, with the three top spotted bird’s being House Sparrows, Blue Tits and Starlings; this replicates the top three results recorded nationally.

Although House Sparrows were the most sighted bird, holding onto the top spot for the 21st year in a row, monitoring shows a steep decline in the UK House Sparrow population, and the species has remained on the UK “Red List” of birds of high conservation concern since 2002.

Trends such as this demonstrate the importance of the Big Garden Birdwatch and, as a result of the species’ decline in recent years, the RSPB has begun to encourage the promotion of insect life in local gardens.

Mel Stride, MP for Central Devon and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said: “It is fantastic that so many people in my constituency took part in this year’s birdwatch.

“The RSPB does vitally important work for the protection of birds across the UK and it is excellent to see that so many people in Central Devon gave up their time to contribute towards this essential data collection.”

You can find a full breakdown of the RSPB’s 2024 Big Garden Birdwatch results at: .