Grand Designs at Saltholme

Robin LaycockSaltholme, the wildlife reserve and discovery park, near Middlesbrough, is looking for budding grand designers to build homes for lovebirds in time for Valentines Day.

On the weekend of 9 – 10 February, Saltholme will be hosting nest box building workshops. Anyone who considers themselves the next Kevin McCloud should come along and have a go at making some grand designs for our feathered friends.

The event takes place just before National Nest Box Week, which starts on 14 February.

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 Valentines 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, 10am – 12pm and one in the afternoon, 1pm – 3pm. The event is expected to be popular so booking is recommended. No DIY experience is necessary, just an enthusiasm for trying out new things.

Each nest box will cost £6 and all the profits will be used to fund the reserves mobility scooters – helping everyone enjoy the wonderful wildlife at Saltholme.

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

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