HOUSEHOLDS across Bolton are being encouraged to take part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch 2019.

To coincide with the 40th anniversary of the charity's famous Birdwatch, events will be taking place at nearby Heaton Park and at other locations across the city.

Each year, the popular nature study sees residents give one hour of their time to monitor birds in their gardens or nearby green spaces, and record their findings.

More than eight million hours have been spent monitoring birds since the inception of the Big Garden Birdwatch in 1979, with more than 130 million birds counted.

For this year, the RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) has also called on participants to share their stories on social media using the hashtag #BigGardenBirdWatch.

This year's event takes place on January 26, 27 and 28.

Mike Clarke, RSPB Chief Executive, said: “Everyone has a role to play in saving nature and protecting our wildlife.

"Big Garden Birdwatch participants have made a significant contribution to monitoring garden bird numbers over the past four decades. Those taking part work together as part of a community with thousands of other Big Garden Birdwatchers, to help the RSPB’s work to protect birds, other wildlife and the places they live.

“Reaching 40 years is a huge achievement and shows just how passionate people across the UK are about their wildlife.

"The survey started as a winter activity for our youth members. It’s now the largest garden wildlife survey in the world and appeals to both children and adults because it’s an enjoyable, easy, inclusive activity that anyone can do, and a great opportunity to connect with nature."

Almost 500,000 people join in the Birdwatch every year, with more than 10,800 people from across Greater Manchester taking part in 2018.

Several events have been organised across the city to help people prepare for this year's survey.

Heaton Park will host a free natural trail and 'Play Your Birds Right' quiz as well as a range of other activities. Visit the blue gazebo by The Stables between 10am and 3pm on January 26-27 to get involved.

The RSPB will be on hand at Fletcher Moss park in Didsbury with their top tips on garden birds between 10am and 3pm on January 26-27.

Garden bird-themed activities will be held at Chorlton Water Park on January 26-27 between 10am and 3pm.

A guided walk has also been organised by the RSPB Stockport Local Group. Join them at Reddish Vale Country Park visitor centre at 10am on January 26.

To take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, monitor the birds in your garden or local park for one hour at some point over the three dedicated day. Participants should only count the birds that land, not those flying over.

Send the RSPB the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time.