Attract birds to your garden

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Follow these top tips to get more feathered friends in your garden this autumn

Haskins Garden Centres has released some top tips on how to create decorative homemade bird cakes.

Birds forage for food in the winter as they need high fat foods to provide energy and survive the colder nights.

Alasdair Urquhart, plant advisor at Haskins Garden Centre, Ferndown, said: “Looking after your feathered friends this winter can be a fun and rewarding activity for children. Help them out by creating high energy treats.

 “This simple recipe takes just 20 minutes to complete and you can use up all sorts of kitchen scraps such as bread crumbs, dry porridge oats and grated cheese. These homemade cakes are a fun alternative to our premium, pre-mixed food for bird feeders, available at all Haskins centres.”

What you’ll need

·       Bowl

·       Saucepan

·       Spoon

·       String or twine

·       Grease-proof paper

·       Cake shapes or cookie cutters

Ingredients required 

·       Lard or suet

·       Wild bird seed, peanuts, bread and cake crumbs, oats, currants, sultanas or grated cheese 

Method

·       Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, using a ratio of one part fat to two parts dry mixture.

·       Gently melt some lard or suet in a saucepan and add to the dry mix. Stir well to ensure all the fat is absorbed and the mixture               sticks together.

·       Place a sheet of grease-proof paper onto a tray and lay out the cookie cutters and cake shapes.

·       Spoon a half layer of the warm fat mixture into the moulds and place a long loop of string on top.

·       Then fill the remaining mould to sandwich the string.

·       Leave to set in the fridge overnight.

·       Push the shapes from the moulds.

·       Hang the cakes in a tree or shrub and wait for the birds to arrive.

Haskins Garden Centres are located in Ferndown in Dorset, West End in Southampton and Roundstone and Snowhill in West Sussex. For more information, visit www.haskins.co.uk.

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