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Have you seen our new Gardening With Children Competition in the Family Zone?

Vegetable face

When we were young many of us will have been told not to play with our food, well now you can and you might even win a prize.

Create a face on a plate using fruit and vegetables; it can be sad, happy or just silly it doesn’t have to be a person it can be an animal, bird, creature, an alien or a figment of your imagination, why not experiment you can send in as many entries as you like.

An Illuminated Minibeast Centre

The Illuminated Minibeast Centre - Solar Insect Theatre

Not only is it great for collecting and studying insects, it also features a solar light which glows in the dark and can attract moths.

The centre can be used in 3 ways

  1. For insect sample collection/ field trips
  2. General Insect Study
  3. Moth Study

Your minibeasts can be placed inside the study centre either via the opening top or through the opening side ports with the perspex windows, twigs and flower stems can also be put inside to provide a temporary habitat whilst you study your bugs and beasties. A rope handle makes the Minibeast Centre easy to carry so you’ll want to take it out and about to collect interesting creatures.
On the top of the Minibeast Centre is the solar lamp this is perfect for attracting night flying insects and bugs such moths and night flying beetles, make sure that the rechargeable battery gets a good charge by leaving the minibeast centre out in bright light during the day, in the evening open the side windows to allow the insects attracted by the light to enter the study chamber, release your creatures as soon as you have studied them.

The Minibeast Centre is made of slow-seasoned FSC timber so will be durable and not require any chemical treatments.

Take a photograph of your creation and send it to us with your details on the entry form (click here) to gill@gardeningwithchildren.co.uk or by post to Gardening with Children Family Competition, Gardening Works, Unit 1, Bee Mill, Ribchester, Preston PR3 3XJ by the closing date of Wednesday 31st August 2016.

Have fun

Gill

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The weeks prior to Christmas are often very busy and hectic at home and at School with Christmas Concerts, Nativity performances, shopping trips and of course planning for the big day, if you haven’t had chance to enter our two free competitions on the Gardening With Children website, here is a little reminder, you could win some great wildlife prizes.

In the School Zone

Send in to us a picture of a Robin, it can be painted, crayoned, drawn in pencil or a collage and you could win for your School

a Square Ground Bird Table

Square Ground Bird Table

and a Wooden Peanut Butter Feeder (supplied with a jar of bird peanut butter with mealworms)

Wooden Peanut Butter Feeder

Click here for full details and an entry form.

In the Family Zone

Simply tell us which is the most interesting bird you have seen in your garden, park or on a walk and you could win

a Wooden Peanut Butter Feeder (supplied with a jar of bird peanut butter with mealworms)

Wooden Peanut Butter Feeder

and a Birdie Bistro Seed Feeder (one supplied)

Bird Bistro Feeder

Click here for full details and an entry form.

The closing date for both competitions is Thursday 31st December 2015.

Good Luck

Gill

 

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A 'Christmas' Robin

As I sit writing this blog I can see a Robin in the garden perched by the bird feeders, we do not get many Robins in the garden, they tend to appear when the weather turns colder and there is less natural food available, on the allotment though they are about throughout the year often watching and waiting for insects and grubs that have been disturbed whilst digging and sitting on the handle of my spade when my back is turned.

The Robin has long been associated with the festive season, this could be because we see them more in Winter but it may also be because the Robin, also known as the ‘Robin Redbreast’, gave its name to the first postmen who wore red jackets and became known as ‘Robins’, some suggest this is the reason why Robins appear on Christmas cards.

Robins sing all year round, they are one of the few birds that can be heard singing during winter, both the males and females maintain territories for feeding during this period, these may be later become their breeding territories.  Robins can be quite tame during the colder months and with a lot of patience they may eat out of your hand, but despite their cute appearance they are quite aggressive with intruders who enter their territory. Around Christmas-time they begin looking for a mate, by mid-January they will have paired up and the females then stop singing. Male and female birds look identical, young Robins are spotted with golden brown they do not have a red breast until they are 2/3 months old, Robins eat insects, worms, seeds and fruits and are very partial to mealworms.

Open Fronted Teapot Bird Nester and Nest Box

Robins are well known for nesting in unusually places including sheds, greenhouses, plant pots, hanging baskets, under car bonnets and in farm machinery, to encourage Robins to breed in your garden put up an Open Fronted Robin Nest Box or a Teapot Bird Nester, they can be sensitive to disturbance whilst nest building and laying so it is best to stay away at this time, they will lay a clutch of 4-6 eggs, which once incubated by the female will hatch in 13 days, both parents feed and care for the chicks that then fledge at 14 days old even though they are still unable to fly for another couple of days, the parents will look after the chicks for another 3 weeks, Robins normally have two broods a year.

This year for the first time the people of Britain were asked to vote for Britain’s National Bird, it may come as no surprise that the winning bird was the Robin; in total more than 224,000 people cast their votes, the Robin came out top with 75,623 votes, followed in second place by the Barn Owl with 26,191 votes and the Blackbird in third place with 25,369 votes.

This Christmas why not give someone a gift of a Nest Box for the Robins in their garden?

Gill

P.S. Don’t miss out on our two free competitions on the Gardening With Children website in the School Zone and the Family Zone, for a chance to win some bird feeders for your garden, the closing date for both competitions is Thursday 31st December 2015.

 

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Congratulation to our Competition winners

We had lots of entries for our September October Competitions, I hoped that you all enjoyed reading and learning about Hedgehogs and Bees, the first correct entries pulled out of the hat were:

For the Family Competition: Isabella Dolbear-Zaleska from Cambridgeshire who wins a Hogitat Hedgehog House, a pack of Hedgehog Food and a Hedgehog Guide.

For the School Competition: Canolfan Addysg Y Bont, Isle of Anglesey who wins a Bug and Bee Biome and a Butterfly/Bee Nectar Feeding Station.

Why not have a go at our two new free competitions on the Gardening With Children website, there are some more great wildlife prizes for you to win:

In the School Zone

Send in to us a picture of a Robin, it can be painted, crayoned, drawn in pencil or even as a collage and you could win for your School

a Square Ground Bird Table

Square Ground Bird Table

and a Wooden Peanut Butter Feeder (supplied with a jar of bird peanut butter with mealworms)

Wooden Peanut Butter Feeder

Click here for full details and an entry form.

In the Family Zone

Simply tell us which is the most interesting bird you have seen in your garden, park or on a walk and you could win

a Wooden Peanut Butter Feeder (supplied with a jar of bird peanut butter with mealworms)

Wooden Peanut Butter Feeder

and a Birdie Bistro Seed Feeder (one supplied)

Bird Bistro Feeder

Click here for full details and an entry form.

The closing date for both competitions is Thursday 31st December 2015.

Good Luck

Gill

 

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A big thank you to everyone who entered the July August Family Zone competition, it sounds like you all had a marvelous time on your bug hunts and you found lots of different and interesting creatures, it just goes to show what you can find even in the smallest gardens.

The winning entry was from Ridley Swain, aged four and a half, from Suffolk.

Ridley found a grasshopper in his Nanna and Grandad’s garden he said it was his favourite insect because “he jumps so high, and I love green!”

Ridley Swain

Ridley with his Grasshopper

Well done Ridley, your prizes of a Ladybird Tower and a Butterfly and Bee Nectar Feeding Station are on their way to you.

Why not have a go at our two new free competitions on the Gardening With Children website, there are some more great wildlife prizes for you to win:

In the School Zone

Read all about Bees then answer some easy Bee questions and you could win a

Bee and Bug Biome

and a Butterfly and Bee Nectar Feeding Station

1a97d321d903ced1f2878125b704b13f

for your school garden. Click here for full details and an entry form.

In the Family Zone

Fill in the missing words and learn about Hedgehogs for a chance to win

a Hogitat Hedgehog House

hedgehouse_med-02

a pack of Hedgehog Food

hedgehog_feed_loose2

and a Guide to Hedgehogs.

hedgehog_booklet_med

Click here for full details and an entry form.

The closing date for both competitions is Saturday 31st October 2015.

Good Luck

Gill

 

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