Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Saturday 10 January 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch!

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is 30 this year!

In the late 1970s, the RSPB asked its junior membership to count the birds in their garden - over the same weekend. This 'one-off' idea was so successful, it has grown into the world's biggest survey of its kind. Thirty years later and more than three million Big Garden Birdwatch hours have been clocked up by people watching and enjoying the birds in their gardens. That's more than 380 years – wow! We have also spotted 6 million birds, helping reveal the winners and losers in the garden bird world.

Taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch is simple and fun!

All you need to do is watch in your garden or local park for an hour on either Saturday 24 or Sunday 25 January 2009.

Simply record the highest number of each species seen in your garden (not flying over) at any one time.

Download the counting sheet to help you keep track of how many birds you've seen. The sheet has pictures of the commonest birds seen in gardens, as well as space to cross off how many of each species you have seen together.

You don't need to send this sheet back to the RSPB - it is just to help you record your counts.

Submit your results using the online form provided, which will open on 24 January 2009 for you to enter your 2009 counts. The RSPB will collate and publish the results in March 2009.

And if anyone reading this is involved with a school or youth group, why not join in with The Big Schools Birdwatch?

This is a free activity for schools and youth groups (brownies, scouts etc) throughout the UK, which the RSPB run every year in January and February.

By observing the birds that visit your school grounds you will be helping them monitor UK bird numbers.

A free teachers activity pack is available. the RSPB also have loads of information and resources on these pages to help you carry out this activity with your class.

New for this year, build your choice of graphs and charts. Submit your results online and get access to these new, interactive class activities. A series of cunning questions provided by the RSPB will also get your class really exploring and interpreting their data.

Print out the tables, graphs and charts and use them as a record of data handling work, or put them up in your classroom as part of a Big Schools' Birdwatch display.

If you don't have access to a whiteboard, they still want to hear from you. Please submit your results using the paper form provided in your activity pack.

If your school does not have suitable grounds you can carry out your birdwatch in a local park.

The next Big Schools' Birdwatch runs from 19-30 January 2009.

It is NOT too late to apply!

We will be doing the Big Schools Birdwatch at both our Eco club sessions in January AND doing the Big Garden Birdwatch at Compost Mansions on the weekend of the 24th and 25 Jan

So why not join us!


  1. Ooh, thanks for the reminder - I missed doing this last year so want to make sure I do it this year!

  2. This sounds exciting. We are going to participate. Margaret

  3. Oooooh good! I am glad you are both keen to join in :-)

  4. Love taking part in this... and I am very glad of the reminder!
    Love Jane xxxx

  5. We're taking part as part of the monthly working party down at our local nature reserve that is already scheduled for that weekend. Hopefully we'll get some good bird visitors that day!

  6. I ssume my French results can't be recorded but I will try and do an hour seach for my own interest. If I'm organised I could do a hour every 2 or 3 months and record the changes over a year. Whether I can get the boys to join me is another matter though!

    Rosie x

  7. Jazzed = really excited. I have adopted this phrase. as in young persons language " I am LIKE, SO JAZZED", Or "I am LIKE Super JAZZED, that I get to wear my new jeans". You get the picture. My Neice shares a house with an American girl, whilst at Uni. Everything is "like".

    But I am keeping the JAZZED bit even though the LIKE bit ticks me off


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.