I don't know about you, but I've been wilting in the heat lately. After just short sessions of gardening, I've been crying out for a paddling pool in which to dip my feet and wash away some of that clamminess and dust.

It seems like my garden birds have been feeling the same, but they are able to take full advantage of their own bathing facilities, like these House Sparrows...

So, with at least two more months of summer to go, we thought it was a good moment to select 'Make the Perfect Birdbath' as our featured activity for July.

The concept is simple: go for broad and shallow, because birds are wary of steep side and deep water. And if you've got a garden with ground predators (ie cats), then try to raise it if at all possible.

Below is the birdbath at the Barratt Show Home at Kingsbrook near Aylesbury, where we're working with the leading national housebuilder to set a new standard for wildlife friendly housing. You can visit the three Show Homes just to see the gardens if you wish.

Our activity instructions on the Giving Nature a Home webpages show how to make a birdbath for next to nothing using an old dustbin lid.

Or of course you can take a short-cut and just buy one from the RSPB shop!

And if you've got one already, you'll know the pleasure it can bring us as well as the birds. Go on, Mr Wood Pigeon - why don't you just sit in it?!

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