So many people are now feeding birds that demand for bird-food and feeding products has become a multi-million pound industry.
There are thought to be several reasons why demand has rocketed in recent years:
- the major bird welfare organisations now advise us to feed birds all year round (feeding only in winter used to be the accepted practice);
- better energy rich foods, like sunflower seeds, have become available and these are more attractive to birds than the food that used to be available;
- research highlighting the decline in many garden birds has spurred gardeners to do something to help.
Chris Whittles, chairman of CJ WildBird Foods and perhaps the
pioneer of this new market, estimates that it is currently worth £180 million a year and he thinks that it could grow to something in the region of £500 million within 10 years.