Wild Skills: nest box building

Wild Skills: nest box building

On Sunday our Wild Skills members met for their first session of 2017. It may have been a cool, grey winters day but our minds were on preparation for the spring! The team spent the morning making small hole nest boxes (35 in total) to replace some of our older boxes on the nature reserve. You might think that there would be plenty of nesting habitat on a large nature reserve like Rutland Water Nature Reserve, however even here our breeding birds need as much help as we can offer to make their lives a little easier.  There are literally hundreds of nest boxes up around the reserve, each providing a small but safe haven for song birds such as blue tits, great tits, wrens and tree creepers to name but a few. The boxes aim to replicate the nooks, crannies and crevices in older trees and other natural habitat that birds would normally use to nest in, but provide extra protection from the elements and predators. The nest boxes also help us monitor breeding bird numbers and success, as we are able to check the boxes each year and ring the birds we find with a British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) identification ring. The group learnt about the essential features of small hole nest boxes: they should be made from a sustainable source of hardwood with a rough surface that the birds can grip on to, ideally of a thickness of 15mm or more to provide a good insulation layer. They should be nailed together (with nails that won’t rust) and have holes drilled into the bottom to allow water to drain away. The lid needs to be...
Winners all round thanks to monthly events and training

Winners all round thanks to monthly events and training

Here at Rutland Water Nature Reserve a team of more than 500 volunteers provide vital support and help in all aspects of the day-to-day operation and management of the site. This is a major undertaking involving over 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat, two visitor centres, key initiatives such as the Rutland Osprey Project and a wide range of activities and events including the annual Birdfair. Volunteers carry out all sorts of roles, from habitat management and wildlife recording to visitor services and gardening, and much more. They do a fantastic job and their hard work, enthusiasm and commitment is second to none. As a way of acknowledging and thanking our wonderful volunteers for all they do, we have a special programme of events and training specifically tailored for them. Thanks to the new Volunteer Training Centre and support from the Heritage Lottery Fund we have been able to expand this programme to include an activity nearly every week. This is one way we can show our appreciation for our volunteers and hope it helps them feel valued for all they contribute. They are not the only winners though, the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust in turn is rewarded by having even more highly skilled and able volunteers thanks to the knowledge and training they receive from the range of experts who give their time to the programme. Events in 2016 included identification workshops on dragonflies, butterflies, bats, birds, moths, lichens and wildflowers. Volunteers have enjoyed a variety of talks and lectures from local experts, learnt to build moth traps, joined bird ringing sessions, been on several guided walks and numerous...

Join Our E-mail List

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!