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BBC Countryfile Magazine January 2019

Countryfile Magazine inspires you to explore forgotten corners of the great British countryside and provides knowledge of the people and wildlife that inhabit it. We want to tempt you into trying new things, seek out new places and make the most of Britain’s beautiful landscapes.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
$8.20(Incl. tax)
$69.37(Incl. tax)
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min
a nation of birders…

“As I write, I’m watching 15 house sparrows plunder seeds in my garden, and their cheerful squabbling brings me joy. When you see such numbers, it’s hard to believe that this familiar species has undergone a 50–60% decline in the last century. We know this because the fortunes of sparrows and many other birds have been reflected in the findings of the RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch. For the past 40 years, a growing number of people have sat for an hour on the same weekend in January recording garden visitors. So how important is this ‘citizen science’ in helping conservationists and influencing policy makers, and which birds have won or lost? Ben Hoare investigates on page 32. Watching wildlife from a warm living room is appealing but, for the brave, midwinter…

1 min
this month’s contributors

Charles Rangeley-Wilson, “The coast is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts – seals, hares, birds of all kinds, otters if you’re lucky. It’s not a winterscape for the faint-hearted.” Ben Hoare, “Several of Britain’s most familiar and best-loved species have experienced huge population declines under our very noses.” Susie White, “The needle-fine pods of sweet rocket are back-lit, and the flat lid of a poppy seed head resembles a cathedral’s rose window.” Photos: RSPB Images, Oliver Edwards…

1 min
how to contact us

To subscribe or for subs enquiries: Domestic telephone: 03330 162112 Overseas telephone: 01604 973720 Email: bbccountryfile@buysubscriptions.com Post: BBC Countryfile Magazine, PO BOX 3320, 3 Queensbridge, The Lakes, Northampton, NN4 7BF To talk to the editorial team: Telephone: 0117 314 7399 Email: editor@countryfile.com Post: BBC Countryfile Magazine, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol BS1 3BN Advertising enquiries: 0117 314 8384 App support: http://apps.immediate.co.uk/support Syndication and licensing enquiries (UK and international): richard.bentley@immediate.co.uk +44 (0)207 150 5168 Follow us on Twitter: @countryfilemag Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/countryfilemagazine Find us online for lots of bonus content: www.countryfile.com Download the official BBC Countryfile Magazine app from the Apple, Google Play or Amazon App Store.…

2 min
january in the country

SUNRISE OVER SNOW AND WATER A succession of sub-zero nights transforms the Brecon Beacons National Park into a winter paradise of snowy ridgelines, frosty fields and huddles of bare-branched trees. In the north of the park is Llyn Syfaddan, or Llangorse, one of the largest natural lakes in Wales and an important habitat for winter birds, seen here with the snow-dusted peak of Pen y Fan in the background. Make it to the lake for sunrise on a January morning and you may spot starlings, bitterns, water rails, coots, great crested grebes and kingfishers. SAFETY IN NUMBERS Starling murmurations are one of winter’s most mesmerising wildlife spectacles, but why do these energetic little birds flock together in such enormous numbers? The most plausible theory is that it’s a defence mechanism. Predators such as…

1 min
winter gardening tips

1 Shred your Christmas tree for mulch The best way to recycle and reuse your tree. 2 Prune apple and pear trees Take out old wood – but not just top branches – to stimulate new growth. Aim to take off 10–20%. 3 Inspect stored tubers and bulbs for rot Tubers should be stored in trays in a cool place. 4 Sow peas indoors to plant out in spring Place seeds in individual 8cm-deep pots. 5 Top up bird-feeders and water bowls Fat-balls plus nuts and seeds in feeders are a significant winter survival aid for garden birds. 6 Start forcing rhubarb Cover the rhubarb crown with an upturned pot or bucket, ensuring all the light is blocked out. 7 Order seeds for your vegetable patch Sketch out a plan of your patch on paper first, making sure to rotate your crops after…

2 min
frame a beauty-in-nature collage

Winter can often make us feel like nature is hibernating and that we should too, but a woodland walk with a mission can do wonders for your mindset. Wrap up warm and set out on your favourite trail, taking time to spot the changes the season has brought. Collect fallen leaves, caught in the middle of changing colour, pick up uniquely shaped twigs and bark chippings, and pocket the odd pine cone leftover from autumn. Use these wonders of nature to create a special collage that will see you through to spring. You will need: • 23cm x 23cm wooden frame, 4.5cm depth (the one pictured is from IKEA) • Dressmaker’s pins • Tissue paper • A bag or basket for collecting items 1 Collect materials, such as fallen leaves, twigs, pine cones and…