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Archive for May, 2012

Watch the Birdie

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

We may be a little way away, but Old Macdonald’s Farm is thrilled to say that in July we will be hosting the

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is Europe’s largest wildlife conservation charity with more than a million members and almost 20,000 volunteers. The organisation is dedicated to saving birds in Britain and overseas. Now we are delighted to say that RSPB South Essex Marshes will have a display at our farm on the 14th and 15th July, so it is well worth a visit to have a look at their stand, and of course visit our farm too!

Now for a bit of information about RSPB South Essex Marshes. Your first port of call should be their Visitor Centre and Discovery Zone which are located within Basildon District Council’s Wat Tyler Country Park and are the gateway to our South Essex Marshes reserves. The RSPB Visitor Centre and Discovery Zone are open from 10 am to 4 pm in winter and 10 am to 5 pm in summer. Their full address is RSPB South Essex Marshes, Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea Hall Lane, Basildon, Essex, SS16 4UH and you can visit their website

Entrance to the RSPB Visitor Centre and Discovery Zone is free, although a small charge applies to guided walks and some children’s activities. Contact the Visitor Centre for details of events, dates and charges.

The site is very good for birdwatching all year round with a free guided walk each Thursday around the park from the visitor centre.

There’s always something going on for families in the Visitor Centre. Watch the birds in the wildlife garden, discover minibeasts in the aquarium, follow the seasons on the live CCTV cameras or at weekends have a go a nature-themed activities. There are also monthly RSPB Little Owls (0-5 years) Wildlife Explorers (7-11 years) and Phoenix (11-18 years) clubs.

Dogs are allowed anywhere. Contact the Country Park for more information. However your best bet is to visit Old Macdonald’s Farm on 14th and 15th July. Now here are their top tips for what to do in the spring on the Marshes.

  1. Look and listen for cuckoos around the park
  2. Stroll along flat, wheelchair-friendly paths – an easy walk for all the family
  3. Bluebells, primroses and daffodils will already be a blaze of colour and provide valuable early nectar for insects

What a wonderful day out for the family and how important it is for us to ensure that we support the RSPB in their efforts to, as they say,  “speak out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. Nature is amazing – help us keep it that way.”

Old Macdonald is dotty

Friday, May 4th, 2012


May 5th is international Climate Impacts Day and all over the world people are getting together to think about all the issues that link us all and the reasons we should take action to prevent human beings contributing to climate change.

In places from drought-stricken Mongolia to flood-stricken Thailand, from fire-ravaged Australia to Himalayan communities threatened by glacial melt, there will be rallies reminding everyone what has happened in their neighborhoods. And at each of those rallies, from Kenya to Canada, from Vietnam to Vermont, someone will be holding a…dot. A huge black dot on a white banner, a “dot” of people holding hands, encircling a field where crops have dried up, a dot made of fabric and the picture taken from above — you get the idea.

That is why Old Macdonald is here with his cartoon friends, holding up his own dot, so that his farm in Brentwood is part of this great international circle of like minded people co operating to help save the planet. And we hope this will encourage you to think about these issues too, and make sure that Old Macdonald going dotty is not in vain. Just in Brentwood.