This past week has marked the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) National Nest Box Week. In 2017 the scheme is in its 20th year.
It aims to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area in order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our breeding birds and wildlife – whether you’re a family with space for a box in your garden, a teacher, a member of a local wildlife group, or in our case, a ranger team!
We’ve been out putting lots of nest boxes up on our own patch.
Over 50 so far in 2017! All made by ourselves, mostly by our skillful volunteers.
Our volunteers have also helped us put them up. We started by replacing some old/faulty nest boxes in Newton Wood, Roseberry Topping.
The National Trust have been monitoring the nest boxes here for over 10 years and we continue to keep records of the species we find using them. A particular species of note breeding in Newton Wood is the Redstart, a species on the decline in Europe. We hope to continue to encourage it to breed here, with the nest boxes providing suitable habitation.
We also went on to put up some nest boxes in Stork Wood, in Bransdale.
Last year, Pied Flycatcher bred here. These African migrants arrive back in Britain in April, taking up residence within open woodland. We hope to encourage them to use the nest boxes too, so we can monitor their populations.
All of the boxes in Stork Wood have been added to the BTO Nest Box Challenge – so we can share our findings with the BTO.
It’s not too late to get involved yourself. You can put up nest boxes at any time of the year. The BTO website has lots of tips on doing so. Why not join us in the BTO Nest Box Challenge too?
Later in the year, we’ll update you on how well our nest boxes in Newton Wood and Stork Wood fare…