People are being asked to leave Christmas leftovers for birds to support wildlife this Christmas.

The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) is encouraging people to take part in their free 12 Days Wild challenge, inviting participants to engage in one 'wild' act each day for the 12 days following Christmas.

The initiative aims to foster a bond with nature during winter.

Recycling Christmas cards, creating nature-themed crafts, and going for park walks are some examples of how people can get involved.

Sharing Christmas remains with birds can play a pivotal role for the local wildlife.

Liz Shearer, community engagement director for BBOWT, said: "Cold roast potatoes are a fantastic thing to give to birds at this time of year because they've got natural carbohydrates with a bit of extra fat which is great in the cold.

"You can also leave out Christmas pudding, fruit cake and mince pies which all have useful sugars and fats, and a little bit of mild low-salt cheese is good too."

She added: "Doing things like leaving out leftovers is a really simple way to help local birds and mammals, and also helps us feel like we have a real connection to wildlife, especially at this time of year.

"Feeling more connected to wildlife is also the first step in taking action to help it, so who knows – taking part in 12 Days Wild could set you off on a new wild journey in 2024."

The 12 Days Wild challenge begins on December 25 and continues until January 5.

Registrants will receive daily emails loaded with activities to keep them engaged.

To take part, sign up for free guides, activities, and inspiration at

Encouraging more involvement with nature, similar to the Wildlife Trust's summer challenge, 30 Days Wild, can bring about overall better health and happiness.

The winter challenge can provide significant wellness benefits by engaging in activities such as visiting a nature reserve, creating art from natural materials, or simply taking a refreshing walk.

A New Year’s resolution to go plastic-free, cycle to work, volunteer or simply spotting animal trails in the dirt or snow can all contribute towards a healthier ecosystem.

Participants are encouraged to share their nature-inspired moments on social media using #12DaysWild and tag @BBOWT in their pictures.