CITY SLICKERS ESCAPE THE RAT RACE WITH A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
in Liverpool and other town centre residents have been hit by 'The
Oddie Effect' in a bid to escape the rat race by encouraging
wildlife into their urban surroundings, a new study reveals.
The success of programmes like Springwatch, hosted by Bill Oddie,
has rubbed off not just on those with gardens or land where they can
return to nature but even those in flats or trendy apartments.
Developers are even considering designing modern complexes with
built in facilities to encourage birds and other wildlife into urban
areas to tap into the trend among urban dwellers.
According to the country's biggest chain of pet stores, demand for
bird food, bat boxes and similar products are particularly booming
in urban areas among younger, single adults. This is in
contrast to the elderly or family customer profile for such items
which also include special food for wild hedgehogs, butterfly
feeding stations and squirrel-proof bird feeders for instance.
Pets at Home, which has 200 stores around Britain, has noticed a
steady rise in customers who want to encourage wildlife to more
urban environments and not just back gardens.
Experts put the trend down to The Oddie Effect where Springwatch and
other wildlife shows have demonstrated the wealth of nature from
badgers to bats which are on the doorstep for millions. Many
of those living in flats, on their own, may well have grown up in
suburban homes with gardens full of birdsong, squirrels or other
animals and simply miss it.
It is also thought that being surrounded by nature can also have a
calming effect on stressed out office workers returning to soulless
developments after a day at work.
Spokesman for Pets at Home, Gillian Buttree said:- "Bill Oddie
and Kate Humble have helped create a boom in homeowners getting
close to nature without having to stray far from their living room.
While we used to mainly get suburban householders and retired
couples buying bird seed and garden feeders, we are now starting to
see a growing number of young, single professionals.
We have customers from blocks of flats and addresses in town centres
which are predominantly made up of trendy flats and not much green
in sight. It seems many residents in these modern homes want
to encourage nature into their concrete jungle even if it to help
them relax at the end of the day and to escape the rat race."
Pets at Home is asking the public to send their tips and best
stories on welcoming wildlife into the home to
If you run a preservation scheme, have nursed a wild animal back to
health or just enjoy bird watching from your balcony then get in
GUIDE TO SELLING YOUR HOUSE QUICKLY IN A TOUGH MARKET
IT can be
tough out there but if you are looking to sell your property quickly
there are several things you can do to increase your chances no
matter what the market throws at you.
Kevin Beastall from Reeds Rains estate agents in the North West
gives his six tips for success:- ďFirstly, be patient. The
market conditions have changed from the euphoric days of the early
naughties but there is still a steady demand out there. However, you
will need to take into account that buyers are more cautious and
want to make sure they are getting the best deal they can. In fact,
the estimate for how long it takes to sell a house has almost
doubled compared to the same time-frame last year so donít expect it
all to happen in a flash.
Secondly, savvy up on pricing and be realistic. By realistically
pricing your property you will significantly increase your chances
of a quick sale. Your agent will be the best person to guide you on
this but you can also do your own homework. There are a huge number
of websites that will allow you to check prices in your area. Also,
donít dismiss any low offers without thinking them through; a swift
sale may save you money in the long run.
Thirdly, get the basics right. Get a HIP and know how to work with
your estate agent to get the best from them. HIPs have been
legislation for some time now and buyers expect to be able to see
one. Make sure you have one so you donít exclude people. Remember it
may pay you to spread the load by having a number of agents looking
out for your property. Also, you may wish to negotiate your fee with
your agent but beware a lower fee may mean lower service. Make sure
you set your expectations with the agent and you know where and how
your house is going to be marketed. And make sure your agent
qualifies all the buyers you need to ensure that people can get a
mortgage or you are wasting your time.
Fourth, access matters. You want as many people as possible to see
your house, so give your agents a set of keys. Especially if you
work, they are far more likely to be free to show people around your
house than you are. Also, you have hired them as your agent so let
them do their sales job; they will probably sell the best features
of your house better than you can.
Fifth, be prepared to negotiate. If your house is a perfect
first-time buyers pad but you want to trade up, be aware of how you
can help the first time buyer because you need their sale. This
could include a cash-back offer or throwing in some furniture or
soft furnishings like curtains.
Finally, first impressions do count. Think about the way your house
is presented both inside and out. A fresh coat of paint can make all
Tidy the front of your house and clean your front
door. If you have a front garden make sure it is well maintained. In
addition, the inside of your house should be as free from clutter as
The kitchen is always a key selling point so ensure it is
clean and that all dishes are washed and put away. Do all the small
jobs you havenít got around to, such as changing that light bulb and
fixing that squeaky door.
If a potential buyer is undecided about
your property, it is these small things that could be the difference
between a sale or them walking away.Ē