Feed the Birds

Great tit

(c) David Hopley

Feed the Birds

A volunteer befriending scheme for bird lovers

After several years as a beloved Shropshire Wildlife Trust project, the Feed the Birds scheme is launching as a separate charity from May 2024. Piloted by SWT in 2017, Feed the Birds has steadily grown with over 100 volunteers trained and over 200 referrals received. Volunteers currently provide vital social contact for over 60 people across Shropshire.

Feed the Birds is a unique nature-based solution to issues of social isolation, loneliness, poor mental health and wellbeing. Clients are referred by agencies and a volunteer visits once a week and fills up the feeder provided by the scheme, sits and chats with their client and gradually builds a special relationship with them based on a shared love of garden birds and wildlife.

The positive economic, health and social impacts of the scheme have been clearly demonstrated through robust evaluation.

Referrals to the scheme are currently on hold until the new charity is fully established. In the meantime please email Feed the Birds for more information.


Watching garden birds such as blue tits and hedge sparrows feeding close at hand is such a joy and many people can relate to the simple pleasure of seeing these little creatures getting on with their lives: feeding, nest building and raising young, oblivious to the problems and struggles we humans are dealing with.

Bird watching

Matthew Roberts

There is much evidence to show that contact with nature is essential for human happiness and that being deprived of engagement with the natural world leads to depression, anxiety, increased heart rate, and other health and life limiting conditions. A simple activity such as watching birds feed outside your window lowers heart rate and leads to improvements in breathing and essentially, longer life.

It has become apparent that having a regular visit from a friendly face who is not a health professional, chatting about a shared interest, doing something positive and taking responsibility for the birds builds confidence, provides enjoyment and contributes to improved health and wellbeing. We have seen new friendships develop and people helping each other through a joint love of wildlife.

As a stay at home mum, volunteering with Feed the Birds gave me an excellent excuse to get out of the house and give back to the local community. I get time out to connect with nature as well as hearing some fantastic stories from my client.
Feed the Birds volunteer
The visits are going extremely well!  The project is amazing, Mum so appreciates the support and the fact that the focus is on the birds not her own mental health and Sally is PERFECT for Mum;  Just the perfect personality. Mum genuinely looks forward to the visit, and has a lot of fun.  Thank you so much for organising it! 
Client relative
Mum is very happy with her volunteer and she really looks forward to her visits.  Although they’ve not seen many birds they chat a lot using sign language and it’s great knowing mum has the company of a friendly person once a week.
Client Relative
Feed the birds logo

Follow our Feed the Birds scheme on Facebook: @FeedTheBirdsShropshire