A SURVEY by the RSPB is encouraging Cheshire residents to take a closer look at wildlife in their gardens this summer.

Make Your Nature Count, the Society’s summer wildlife survey, runs from Saturday until June 12, and as well as asking people to record birds, it wants to know about other kinds of wildlife in Cheshire gardens, such as badgers, toads, bats and snakes.

Results from a survey of 70,000 gardens last year revealed almost a quarter of Cheshire gardens were frequented by hedgehogs, while the most popular bird was the house sparrow, with an average of 4.79 per garden.

As part of the survey, the RSPB wants people to be on the lookout for blackbird, robin and song thrush chicks, as counting young birds helps to give an indication of how important gardens are for these birds to breed in.

The RSPB’s Big Garden Watch survey, conducted in January, similarly identified trends among wintering birds.

Carolyn Jarvis, the RSPB’s people engagement manager for northern England, said: “Our gardens are teeming with wildlife at this time of year so it’s the perfect time to take a moment and enjoy it.

“The survey also helps to build an important snapshot of summer wildlife in our gardens so we can see which species are thriving and which might need our help.”

For further information, visit www.rspb.org.uk/naturecount, where an online survey form will be available from June 4. Alternatively, ring 0300 456 8340 for a form. The hotline is operational until June 10.