Big Garden Watch 2012

Get wild on Saturday 28 January and head to the beautifully restored Myddelton House Gardens in Enfield to support the Big Garden Birdwatch – the world’s biggest wildlife survey!

Families are invited to arrive anytime between 11am and 2pm at Myddelton House Gardens for a range of FREE wildlife activities. The 2012 Birdwatch is being organised by Wild Place, Your Space, a three-year project created by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) to bring people closer to nature.

Part of a wider bird watching weekend in gardens and local parks across the UK, the Big Garden Bird Watch will create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers in each region. Last year saw a record breaking ten million birds spotted.

Participants simply make a note of the highest number of each bird species seen on the ground (not flying over) at any one time, and report back to the RSPB.

Nature lovers at Myddelton House Gardens will be able to:

  • take part using binoculars and telescopes
  • make apple bird feeders
  • enjoy a wildlife trail and guided bird walk
  • make bird hats
  • collect a leaflet to identify common birds at home

Myddelton House Gardens, the original house and gardens of the Victorian era’s legendary plantsman E A Bowles, has seen record breaking visitors since it’s re-launch on 1 April 2011 following a two year Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) restoration project. It is a pivotal garden attraction within the 10,000 acre, 26 mile long Lee Valley Regional Park and is FREE to enter.

Myddelton House Gardens, Bulls Cross, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 9HG

Wild Place, Your Space hopes that as well as providing useful data to study trends and spot any worrying declines, the Bird Watch survey will act as a reminder that garden birds still need our help for a few weeks yet. For further information go to

Established to bring together diverse communities in East London, Wild Place, Your Space will work with more than 28,000 people, including 17,000 children and young people, through special class sessions and visits, introducing them to the rich variety of plants, animals and insects found throughout the Lee Valley, from Enfield to Tower Hamlets .

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How to get there:

From M25 J25 take the Southbound A10 signpostedLondon.At the next junction (Bullsmoor Lane) take theright lane filter turning right into Bullsmoor Lane. Followthe road round the left hand bend into Bulls Cross (The Pied Bull Pub is on the right) then continue.Myddelton House Gardens can be foundon the right hand side directly opposite the junction with Turkey Street.

Visit or call the Information Service on 08456 770 600


Michelle Rosenberg, LVRPA media Officer on 01992 709 830, 07920 810 403 or

Tim Webb, RSPB London Communications Manager on 020 7808 1246, 07921 740 753 or

Vicky Wilford, Communications Account Manager, Heritage Lottery Fund Press Office, 020 7591 6046, 07973 401 937 or

Editor’s notes

  1. Wild Place Your Space is a three-year project created by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) to bring people closer to nature.
  2. The project is based in East London and operates across some of the south-east’s most deprived boroughs. Research has found that some of the diverse communities within these wards feel excluded from parks and open spaces and are therefore missing out on the health and mental well-being benefits that visits to green spaces can provide.
  3. Wild Place Your Space is helping those living within easy reach of the lower Lee Valley Regional Park to engage with the nature on their doorsteps, in particular audiences that are currently under-represented as users of green spaces. The project aims to reach over 28,000 people.
  4. Work focuses on six sites: Myddelton House Gardens in Enfield, the Waterworks Nature Reserve in Waltham Forest, Tottenham Marshes in Haringey, Middlesex Filterbeds in Hackney, Bow Creek Ecology Park in Newham, and East India Dock Basin in Tower Hamlets.
  5. Keep up to date on how our Community Wildlife Garden grows, at the Waterworks Nature Reserve, by following our garden blog:
  6. Lee stretches 26 miles along the River Lee from Ware in Hertfordshire to East India Dock Basin on the Thames. The Park’s 10,000 acres comprise a diverse mix of heritage sites, nature reserves and open green spaces alongside world class sports venues, attracting over four million visitors every year. Valley Regional Park
  7. Lee Valley Regional Park is playing an active part in the London 2012 Games. Lee Valley White Water Centre (just north of the M25, near Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire) and Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centres in Olympic Park will be owned and operated by Lee Valley Regional Park in legacy. They join our existing sports facilities which include Lee Valley’s Athletics Centre, Riding Centre and Ice Centre, to create a chain of sporting excellence across the region.
  8. The RSPB and LVRPA are both proud members of London Biodiversity Partnership. Working together to improve quality of life across Greater London.
  9. The project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Using money raised through the National Lottery, the HLF sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 28,000 projects, allocating over £4.2 billion across the UK, with over £840 million granted in London alone.
  10. The project has been funded by Biffaward, a multi-million pound environment fund managed by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT), which utilises landfill tax credits donated by Biffa Waste Services.
  11. In 1997 Biffa Waste Services agreed to donate landfill tax credits to the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) to administer under the fund name Biffaward. Grants made from the fund currently amount to £100 million, supporting many worthwhile projects. Biffa Waste Services Limited is one of the largest single suppliers of waste management services in the UK. It collects, treats, recovers and disposes of municipal, commercial and industrial waste nationwide. It is ultimately owned by a private equity consortium comprising Montagu Private Equity, Global Infrastructure Partners, Uberior Co-Investments Limited and other co-investors. The landfill tax came into operation in 1996. Its purpose is to reflect the impact of landfill on the environment and also to help achieve the targets for more sustainable waste management. The tax, levied on the tonnage of all material disposed of in landfill sites and collected by Biffa on behalf of HM Revenue and Customs, aims to encourage recycling and reduce waste by raising the cost of disposal. The regulations allow landfill site operators to direct approximately 6% of the tax they have collected towards approved environmental projects. However, any approved project can only receive 90% of its desired funding from the landfill tax. The remainder must come direct from the landfill site operator or from a third party organisation or company.


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