Birds need water to drink at least twice a day and it is vital to enable them to preen. Water baths help birds to get rid of dust, parasites and loose feathers from their plumage.

There are countless ways to make a bird bath and each can be unique. While it has an important purpose, it is likely to be in your view most days so it’s worth making it aesthetically pleasing.

One of the simplest ways is to upcycle a large shallow watertight vessel. Upturning a bowl, tray or even the lid of a dustbin works, it’s the shallow, sloping sides that are key. Make it as wide as possible but no deeper than 10cm. Make a plinth out of brick, logs or stone to lift it from the ground.

If younger members of the family would like to make one and decorate it themselves then terracotta pots are great. Glue an oversized terracotta plant saucer to an upside-down stack of two or three large terracotta pots which act as the plinth.

For a shorter, simpler version, glue a terracotta saucer to a single large upturned terracotta pot. The table can be embellished with paint, stones, shells or anything else or it can be left as is.

For a taller plinth with more shape glue two large pots together, rim to rim, then glue the saucer on top as the bath and a saucer on the bottom to stabilise the stand.

Once the glue has dried site the birdbath in an open place so that birds will be able to see any predators coming and keep it out of a cat’s pouncing distance.

Once you’ve made sure the table is stable lay some pebbles and stones in the bath. These help prevent birds losing their footing and will help bees and other visiting insects that run into difficulty and risk drowning.

Fill with fresh water and keep it topped up. Change the water and clean the bath regularly to prevent build up of droppings and algae.

Seeing birds drink and bathe is a wonderful, as is the sound of them splashing as you’re in the garden. The bird bath has a valuable function and it quickly becomes a source of pleasure for you and the birds. It also gives you the chance to study birds and pollinators more carefully and to take photos that may not get otherwise.