Big Fun with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Regular readers know how much I love birds. I love all the different colours of their feathers, the songs they sing, how they eat weed seeds (saving Mummy and Daddy from having to pick so many), and how they keep pest insects like aphids under control in the garden. So I’m super excited that the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is happening this month.
A coal tit came to visit

A coal tit came to visit

What is the Big Garden Birdwatch?

The Big Garden Birdwatch is a survey of the birds you can see in your garden or nearest green space and has been running since 1979- that’s so old (almost as old as Mummy and Daddy). It helps brainy conservationists learn how healthy the countryside is and if the numbers of any bird types are dropping so we can give them extra help.

Did you know that gardens make up about 4% of the UK’s land and that birds come into our gardens for food and shelter when conditions in the countryside get really hard?

Starlings love the fat balls in our garden

Starlings love the fat balls in our garden

What do you need to do for the Big Garden Birdwatch?

This year’s Big Garden Birdwatch is happening on January 24th and 25th and is really, really easy to be part of:

A beautiful greenfinch in our garden

A beautiful greenfinch in our garden

What you might see in your garden

I recently reviewed the fabby RSPB book on how to identify the different birds you might see in your garden and how to make a trendy bird feeder to encourage them. But you don’t need to have that book as the Big Garden Birdwatch website has great pictures of each of the different birds you might expect to see in your garden.

The birds you might see will depend upon the food they can find in your garden and the type of feeder you use.

Blue tits, and Great tits like seeds in hanging feeders.

This common redpoll came for a visit

This common redpoll came for a visit

Blackbirds and wrens like their food to be scattered on the ground.

House sparrows and Bullfinches aren’t fussy and will eat food from any location.

The Big Garden Birdwatch website even has a super cool live bird counter that you can use on a computer or smartphone. It has hints and tips and lots of fun facts to learn whilst your doing your important work.

If you prefer furry or scaly creatures to birds then you’ll be happy to hear than you can also count the number of squirrels, hedgehogs, badgers, deer, grass snakes or slow worms.

A beautiful chaffinch

A beautiful chaffinch

In the run-up to the weekend there are loads of regional activities going on to help you encourage birds to your garden and to recognise the ones that come.

I’d love to hear what birds you see in the Big Garden Birdwatch.

Happy bird spotting!

Lulu xx

Bonkers for conkers!

Did you know that it’s national conker day today?  It’s also the day of the World Conker Championship. What better excuse to go out conker hunting as well as making a lovely choccy version of the conker…

Bonkers about conkers!

Bonkers about conkers!

Cool conker facts:

As well as playing with the conkers, you can also make chocolate conkers to share with your friends.

Chocolate Conkers

You will need:

To make:

1. Put the biscuits in a plastic food bag and smash with a rolling pin until they are crumbs (if you have a food processor use it instead as it will be a lot faster.)

2. Put the cream cheese in a bowl and gradually mix in the biscuit crumbs, stirring it really well until everything has combined.

3. Shape the mixture into small conker.

4. Put the ‘conkers’ on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and put them in the fridge for
least two hours to chill.

5. Melt the chocolate in a bowl and dip the chilled ‘conkers’ into it making sure they’re fully coated (for different shades of brown, dip some in milk chocolate and some in dark.)

6. Set them out on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and put them back in the fridge for the chocolate to set.

7. You can leave your chocolate conkers as they are, or make a spiky green outer shell out of marzipan (dyed with food colouring).

Chocolate conkers, yum!

Chocolate conkers, yum!

There you have it, yummy conkers. Just don’t mix them up with your real conkers as they won’t last long on a bit of string! And the real ones won’t taste nice, even covered in chocolate.

Hugs & kisses,

Lulu xx

1. You can also use ginger nuts, they are yummy in this recipe.

2. A big thank you to Nature Detectives for the chocolate conker idea.

Brambly Blog

Hey everyone. It’s the time of year when the hedgerows are bursting with brambles (aka blackberries) and us bramblers (namely my BFF Euan and myself) are to be found with purple fingers and tell tale purple mouths! It’s good fun going hunting for brambles and seeing how many you can get past your mouth and into your tub. In this latest brambly blog I tell you some wonderful bramble facts as well as sharing a lovely recipe which uses them up (along with a few apples from my garden), yum!

We're going on a bramble hunt, we're gonna find a big one!

Brambling with my pal Euan

Did you know…

Top tips for brambling:

Brambles are a great fruit for making jams and desserts too. Here is a yummy recipe I helped my Mummy make…
Sampling the crop as we go!

Sampling the crop as we go!

Bramble and Apple Pie

You will need:
For the shortcrust pastry:

For the filling:

To make:
To make the pastry:
1. Use your fingers to rub the cold butter, flour and icing sugar together.
2. Add the beaten egg and 1/2 tablespoon water and use your fingers to form the dough into a ball.
3. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
4. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly grease a 23cm/9 inch pie dish.
5. Slice the dough in half and roll out the bottom of the pie on a lightly floured surface. Try not to overwork the pastry – it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look perfect.

For the filling:
1. Soften the brambles and the apples in a pan over a low heat.
2. Add the sugar.
3. Pour onto the pastry case.
4. Roll out the second half of the pastry on a lightly floured surface and place on top of the fruit. Cut away any excess pastry and crimp the edges with your thumb to seal.
5. Brush all over the top with lightly beaten egg or some milk. Prick a few holes over the surface and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
We also made some yummy jam with some of our brambles which I will tell you how to make really soon…
Lulu xx 


I love my seasonal veg. It tastes so yummy when it’s picked from the garden and is on your plate a matter of minutes later. This week my blog is all about courgettes. From how to grow them to a super yummy courgette cake recipe it’s ripe for the reading!



Funny Courgette Facts

Growing Courgettes

Waaaaay back in Spring I told you all about how to grow seeds. One of the ways that we spoke about was using the Twigz mini greenhouse. I used mine to plant a range of lovely veg and flowers and one of those was courgettes.

Over the months the seedlings have been nurtured from mini greenhouse to bigger greenhouse to bigger pots. Make sure you water them LOTS along the way. I have loved using my colourful Twigz tools to help me dig holes, rake soil, water the plants and carry compost to help make my courgettes grow well.  My courgette plant now sits happily on the edge of one of our raised veg beds and it has been giving us some lovely courgettes.

There are all sorts of lovely things you can do with courgettes such as adding them to pasta sauces, soups, tarts, making frittata or even pickling them! But one of my favourite things to do with courgettes is to make cakes with them, yum! Here’s my courgette muffin recipe (1) – it tastes so good you won’t believe it has lots of fruit and veggies in it!

Courgette Muffins

You will need:

To make:

1. Brush the muffin tin with oil or add some muffin cases. Ask your grown-up to switch the oven to 190C/ 170C fan/gas 5.

2. Grate the courgettes and put them in a large bowl. Grate the apple and add to the bowl. Squeeze the orange and add the juice to the bowl.

3. Break the egg into a bowl. Stir the butter and egg into the courgette and apple mix.

4. Sieve the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into the bowl. Add the sugar and sultanas.
Mix with a spoon until everything is combined, but don’t worry if it is lumpy.

5. Spoon the mixture into the tin. Ask your grown up to put it in the oven and cook for 20-25 mins.

6. Cool in the tin, then spread some icing on each.

Yummy courgette muffins

Yummy courgette muffins

If you haven’t already grown them this year make sure they are on your list for next year. Super easy, versatile and tasty. Cor-gette!

Lulu xx 

1. Thanks to the clever people at BBC Good Food for the recipe for the Courgette Muffins


Birthday Carrot & Pineapple Muffins

It’s officially birthday season, hooray! I have been at birthday parties the last two weekends to celebrate with my lovely friends. What is even more exciting is there is another party this weekend and it’s mine! I will officially be a big girl – I, Lulu Ann Burt, will be TWO years old! As you know I (with a little help from M&D) like to cook with lovely things from the garden and that goes for birthday baking too. Here is one of the lovely treats in store for party-goers this weekend – carrot & pineapple muffins!

Yummy carrot & pineapple muffins, ready for my birthday party!

Yummy carrot & pineapple muffins, ready for my birthday party!

Carrots are a main ingredient of what I am going to tell you about today. Carrots store really well and you may be lucky enough to still have some left from your own garden. I love growing carrots – my top tips for growing carrots are:

  I love a carroty nibble! And look, my hair even looks like a pineapple!

I love a carroty nibble! And look, my hair even looks like a pineapple!

There are loads of yummy things to do with carrots from eating them raw to cooking them to have with your dinner or in soups. I like baking with them too as they are sweet and healthy. Today I am going to share the recipe which my friends will get to try at the weekend:

Birthday Carrot & Pineapple Muffins

  • 100g/4oz plain flour
  • 100g/4oz plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 200ml/7fl oz vegetable oil
  • 90g/3½oz caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g/4½oz finely grated carrots
  • 225g/8oz tinned crushed pineapple, semi-drained
  • 100g/4oz raisins
To make:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Sift together the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt and mix well. Beat the oil, sugar and eggs until well blended. Add the grated carrots, crushed pineapple and raisins. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating just enough to combine all the ingredients.
3. Pour the batter into muffin trays lined with paper cases and bake for 25 minutes (1). Cool on a wire rack.Now I just need to work on growing pineapples 😉


(1) If you want to make smaller ones you will need to reduce your baking time

Thanks to the very clever Annabel Karmel for coming up with this recipe. She rocks!