The BV, Mar 22

Page 58


Snap up a designer des res for birds

Volunteers at Bere Marsh Farm have been building beautiful bird boxes, designed to cater for each bird’s specific needs, says the CRT Every spring, birds need a safe place to build a nest. Different species look for different locations and special features for their homes for the summer, but they are united in their hunt for some shelter, security and protection. Just like our own homes, bird boxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. What best suits a robin is not suitable for a tawny owl; sociable sparrows like to share boxes. Paul said: “When we their nesting space, whereas a removed these grain shutes from blue tit nests in its own unique the farm in 1990, I never imaged home. that I would be making sparrow At the Countryside Restoration hotels from them thirty years Trust (CRT)’s Bere Marsh Farm later!” near Shillingstone, a group The bamboo stalks that have of volunteers have taken up been cut down from the garden the challenge of catering to a of the farmhouse at Bere Marsh diversity of tastes, and have are becoming the hollow holes completed a number in bug or bee boxes. of bird box building Sallow trunks, “When we workshops on the removed these brought from the farm. Gordon Beningfield grain shutes Each box is designed Memorial Farm in the for a particular bird, from the farm Marshwood Vale, will according to their in 1990, I never be hollowed out and different features. then capped with a imaged that Some are open roof for tawny owls. I would be fronted, some have Most people will be a circular hole, or making sparrow familiar with the a deep drop that most common type hotels from emulates a tree of bird box - a plain them thirty trunk. Some provide box with a circular years later!” entrance hole - but terraced housing that emulates the lines even these are of nest spaces sparrows prefer, tailored to different species of others have a landing stage for bird according to the size of the owls. entrance hole. The depth of the box and the position of the hole Re use, recycle... are also important to ensure that Where possible, the CRT the young don’t fall out. volunteers have used recycled It is also recommended that timber or off-cuts to construct a circular metal nest box hole the houses. The materials that protector is added to prevent have been recycled include predators such as woodpeckers timber grain chutes that were and squirrels from making the removed from a local farm. Paul hole larger to gain access. Millard, a former farmer, has Robins, wrens, pied wagtails and made them into sparrow nesting spotted flycatchers all prefer 58

an open-fronted box. Again, different height front panels will attract different species. Support the charity, buy a beautiful bird box The handmade bird boxes can be bought directly from Bere Marsh Farm - install them in your garden, and enjoy the new residents. If you are not able to put a box in your own garden, but would still like to get involved, the Countryside Restoration Trust are welcoming donations to enable them to distribute these boxes to schools, allotments or churchyards etc. Prices are as follow: – • £20 standard cedar bird nest box – open and with holes • £5 standard bird nest box in recycled materials • £10 sparrow hotel • £70 Barn owl box • £35 Tawny owl box • £15 bat box • £20 dormouse box • £7 bug box Please contact the Bere Marsh Farm Manager Elaine Spencer White espencer@ countrysiderestorationtrust. com or call 01258 860090 for more information, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday. Alternatively, you are welcome to purchase them directly from the farm here.

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