BTO National Nest Box Week: 14th-21st February 2017
In preparation of the BTO’s 20th National Nest Box Week (NNBW) and the onset of 2017 breeding bird season, Tame Valley Wetlands have been doing their bit to create homes for our feathered friends.
Recently, Tame Valley Wetlands supplied 23 nest boxes to project sites at Kingsbury Water Park, Community Wetlands and Tameside LNR in Tamworth. These have been installed and are ready for 2017 occupation. The woodcrete boxes are BTO’s official nest boxes for National Nest Box Week which runs from 14th to 21st February, every year. These sturdy boxes can last 20-25 years, much longer than the classic wooden nest boxes and they have different designs to accommodate different bird species.
We have also provided specialist boxes for :-
- Tawny Owl
- Two willow baskets which can be used by Hobby
- Barn Owl
Kestrel box (Left,) Owl box (right)
As well as classic nest boxes, two Sand Martin hotels have been built in February 2017 offering a total of 102 flood proof nest burrows. We may even get Kingfishers using them!
Tameside LNR, Tamworth Kingsbury Water Park
(Photos: © T Doherty 2017)
The simple action of putting up a nest box is easy and will provide a thrilling reward when our feathered friends use them. Find out more about what you can do on the BTO website. Alternatively, why not join us on Thursday, 23rd February 2017 in Tamworth to build your own bird box which you can take home and put up in your garden. There are still a few places left. Book online via the events page.
Photos from our Nest Box Building day in 2016. (Photos © R Gries 2017)
Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund
Sand Martins migrating to the Tame Valley now have a new custom made hotel at Tameside Local Nature Reserve, Tamworth a site owned by Tamworth Borough Council and managed by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and Tameside Wildlife Conservation Group
The artificial sand martin bank was built in February 2017 and will provide a valuable home to this summer visiting bird that migrates from parts of Africa, to breed in the UK. Sand Martins like to nest in river banks and create burrows that can be as deep as 1m. However, the unforgiving River Tame rises quickly during summer storm events and this floods the natural nest sites in the river bank.
This vulnerable species now has a new home installed on the edge of the floodplain, with the nest burrow entrances above the flood levels ensuring that our feathered friends have every opportunity to successfully breed and raise their young without the risk of being flooded.
We still have some landscaping work to do but the Sand Martin Hotel is ready and waiting for its first springtime guests to burrow in!
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Partners involved: Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership – Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Tamworth Borough Council, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Tameside Wildlife Conservation Group, Environment Agency
During January 2017, contractors working for Tame Valley Wetlands restored 170m of native hedgerow using traditional methods at Whitacre Heath SSSI, a site owned and managed by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
The hedgerow which has been laid had not been managed and was slowly turning into a line of trees. A well managed hedge should be thick and bushy at the bottom, creating a perfect natural barrier for livestock enclosure. By laying the hedge now, we will avoid having to coppice it to the ground in the future.
Other benefits include:-
- Livestock can take shelter behind the hedgerow
- It becomes an important haven for wildlife, connecting habitats along a linear corridor
- It is a defining feature of the Warwickshire countryside and provides heritage value
- A laid hedge will re-grow thicker and will have a longer life span than an un-managed hedge
- This also increases biodiversity along the hedgerow
Consent from Natural England was granted to lay the hedge and also burn any brash created from the work.
Take a look at the before and after photographs using the slider to see the improvements made.
(Photo © T Doherty 2017)
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Partners involved: Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership – Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Natural England, Environment Agency
Rivers and their connected floodplains are nature’s natural flood defence. This animated film is a great tool to use to illustrate how re-naturalising rivers can make a massive difference in reducing flood risk while being better for biodiversity and the environment. Think… Slow the Flow!