Box clever to give birds a home

A WILDLIFE reserve is hosting a creative day for people to build nest boxes.

Saltholme, near Hartlepool, is looking for budding grand designers.

This Saturday and Sunday the reserve will be holding nest box building workshops just before National Nest Box Week, which starts on February 14.

Liz Morgan, marketing officer at Saltholme, said: “These workshops will give people the chance to make their own nest box, which they can take home and put up, just in time for those lovebirds who want to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style and comfort.”

Nest boxes are a hugely valuable resource for many species of birds.

They provide nesting opportunities the birds would otherwise struggle to find, especially in urban areas.

Natural nest sites such as holes in trees and buildings are disappearing as gardens and woods are ‘tidied’ and old houses are repaired. Liz added: “Declining species, such as house sparrows and starlings will happily use nest boxes.

“By providing more safe places for them to raise their chicks, people can really help these birds.

“Building your own nest box is only the beginning; they provide a great opportunity to get closer to nature.

“Watching the trial and tribulations of birds trying to raise a family in your own garden can be extremely entertaining and rewarding.”

There will be two workshop sessions per day; one in the morning, taking place from 10am to noon and one in the afternoon, from 1pm to 3pm.

The event is expected to be popular so booking is recommended.

Each nest box will cost £6.

All the profits from the event will be used to pay for the reserve’s mobility scooters.

For more information and to book a place call (01642) 456625 or visit www.rspb.org.uk/saltholme.