Gardeners revive the fortunes of goldfinch

The latest exhibition at Fotherdale Farm, Thixendale, runs until November 29.
The latest exhibition at Fotherdale Farm, Thixendale, runs until November 29.

Whilst many UK songbirds are in decline, one colourful avian character is enjoying a comeback due to the help of British gardeners.

People who put food out for goldfinches may just have saved them. The British Trust for Ornithology has announced that this bird’s numbers have risen by almost 80% since 2002.

Now it wants volunteers to keep tabs on what it is eating and work out why it is doing so well.

Many of our well-known garden species, such as hedgehogs, house sparrows and starlings, are suffering huge declines.

But if the recent success of our goldfinches is anything to go by, then we can save more species by making wildlife welcome in our gardens.

The importance of saving nature is the theme of an exhibition currently running at Robert Fuller’s gallery in Thixendale.

The paintings show people how wonderful wildlife is and hopefully will inspire them to do what they can to help threatened species.

Robert said: “When I first moved to Fotherdale Farm in Thixendale the site was completely bare, with no birdlife.

“I dug a pond and incorporated a stream because birds need water to drink and bathe in. Then I filled the site with shrubs and trees, choosing some for flowers, some for the seeds and others for their berries.

“I also put up lots of nest boxes of different sizes to attract different species: wrens, blue tits, tree sparrows, house martins, swallows – even larger ones for barn owls, kestrels and tawny owls.

“I left a wild patch of rough grassland where plants are allowed to go to seed to feed the birds over the winter.

“Recently I added a wildflower meadow to encourage butterflies and bees. The soil here is chalk and I get ox-eyed daisies, thyme, knapweed, scabious, marjoram and clover.

“The results have been spectacular. I now have a thriving bird population, hedgehogs, owls and kestrels.”

Are you doing something to help nature? Share your success stories with the Pocklington Post and inspire more people to give nature a helping hand… the Pocklington Post at

Find out how you could help save nature at Robert Fuller’s exhibition. Open daily from 9.30am to 4.30pm (and from 10.30am on weekends) until November 29. The event is at Fotherdale, Farm, Thixendale, near Malton. For details of accompanying nature events, including wildlife safaris and falconry classes, see