Prisoners encouraged to join world’s biggest wildlife survey from their cells

Prisoners are being encouraged to join the world’s biggest wildlife survey from their cells.

The RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch asks twitchers to log the different species they spot over the course of an hour.

It’s taking place over three days from January 27 to 29 this year, with around 500,000 Brits expected to take part.

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Up to 10 million birds are normally counted.

And this year lags are being invited to take part by looking out of their cell windows and noting what they spot.

Inmates have been handed an ID chart showing 18 of the most common UK species including blue tit, collared dove, robin, wood pigeon and blackbird.

Some lags have also been lent binoculars to take part.

The ID guide and entry forms for the RSPB survey were handed out this month with the latest edition of the prison newspaper Inside Time.

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It is delivered free to all UK jails, going out to over 80,000 inmates.

Bea Finch, from the Ministry of Justice, said 17 prisons took part in the last bird count.

She said: “Some prisons are privileged to be in bird-friendly hotspots.”

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