Share your dinner with the birds

Karen Neville

High Flying Birds

BBOWT Is asking people to do one ‘wild’ act for each of the 12 days of Christmas to connect with nature at the coldest time of year

Sharing some of your Christmas leftovers with the birds this year could make a real difference for local wildlife.

That is the message from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), which is asking people to join its 12 Days Wild challenge.

Recycling Christmas cards, creating nature-themed crafts and going for a walk in the park are among suggested ways people can take part.

Liz Shearer, Community Engagement Director for BBOWT, said: “Cold roast potatoes are a fantastic thing to give to birds at this time of year because they’ve got natural carbohydrates with a bit of extra fat which is great in the cold. You can also leave out Christmas pudding, fruit cake and mince pies which all have useful sugars and fats, and a little bit of mild low-salt cheese is good too!

“Doing things like leaving out leftovers is a really simple way to help local birds and mammals, and also helps us feel like we have a real connection to wildlife, especially at this time of year. Feeling more connected to wildlife is also the first step in taking action to help it.”

The 12 Days Wild challenge runs from 25th December to 5th January. Anyone who signs up online will receive daily inspirational emails with fun activity ideas.

Doing ‘wild’ things to connect with nature can also help us feel happier and healthier, as the Wildlife Trust’s summer challenge, 30 Days Wild, has shown. Whether you take a walk in the park, watch starling murmurations or create some natural art, this shorter winter challenge could offer real wellbeing benefits.

Signing up is also a chance to give something back to nature by making some small changes. You could:

· Do some detective work and spot animal tracks in the mud or snow

· Get crafty using natural materials and create some wild art

· Go wild in town or country and visit a nature reserve

· Beat the January blues by listening to our Wild about Wellbeing podcast

· Make a New Year’s resolution for nature to go plastic-free, cycle to work or volunteer

Or simply get out there and enjoy a walk on the wild side.

Sign up online here for free guides, activities, and inspiration. Share photos and videos of your nature inspired moments on social media using #12DaysWild and please tag @BBOWT in your pictures.

*Picture Credit: Margaret Holland

New High Flying Birds Release

Round & About

High Flying Birds

Noel Gallagher revisits his Oasis B-sides for the latest from The High Flying Birds.

It’s a long-known wisdom that if you want to find the real gold in the Oasis canon, you need to dig around in their B-sides. That’s where you’ll find the likes of Talk Tonight, Round Are Way and Half The World Away. Since the band’s split, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have filled the void for many, but let’s be honest, even Noel’s most ardent fan must hanker for the days when he graced the stage with his younger brother.

Digging back into his old band’s back catalogue, the High Flying Birds have just ‘unveiled’ their versions of Going Nowhere and The Masterplan, both Oasis B-sides. It’s a move which perhaps suggests that even Noel Gallagher is starting to realise that the well has run dry and the songs he wrote as part of Oasis (a naturally fractious and explosive band) were better than anything he’s done since. Surely, it’s time that the brothers Gallagher sorted themselves out and just got Oasis back together?

Whilst it’s hard to deny the anthemic nature of these songs, it’s fair to say that these retreads lack the passion and excitement Gallagher used to infuse his songs with. Back then, it felt like he was one of us, but now, it feels as if he’s going through the motions; disconnected completely with his roots and his audience.  He is of course, extremely rich, as he noted when winning the best video award for Wonderwall, and we aren’t.

The Masterplan was the flipside to what many consider the pinnacle of the band’s career (Wonderwall). The many are wrong. Oasis never topped the relentless glory of Columbia. All that aside, The Masterplan in its original guise did possess a sense of soaring emotion passion as did Going Nowhere which graced the Stand By Me single.

These new recordings do little to improve on the original versions. Sure, they were recorded at Abbey Road and have layers of orchestration, but there’s still something lacking. To borrow a line from Columbia, “what I heard is not what I hear”. But what do we know? The High Flying Birds have received glowing accolades for their latest album Council Skies and their end of year tour has several sold out dates. We still can’t help but think that everyone would rather Oasis put their differences behind them and got back together.

You can hear the new versions of these songs here. Have a listen and tell us what you think.
Or if you prefer you can watch The Masterplan here and Going Nowhere here.