Wednesday 6 April 2011

Mrs Nichols' House Restoration Project

Contributed by Helen:

This is a heartening story demonstrating that house restoration doesn’t have to mean disaster for resident wildlife. Thanks to the thoughtfulness of Mrs Nichols, returning swifts were not deprived of their historic nesting site. Mrs Nichols has, for the past two years or so, been restoring her home, a handsome listed house in the Norfolk countryside.

Realising that restoration work to the roof had blocked access for returning swifts, Mrs Nichols decided it was necessary to provide alternative accommodation for the resident colony. John Stimpson supplied ten Zeist nest-boxes under the eaves on each side of the house, four on the south side and two on each of the others. All of them were immediately occupied. Indeed, the swifts were so determined to get into their boxes they flew in right over people’s heads while up ladders and scaffolding.

When the nest boxes were taken down, while the house was being painted, Mrs Nichols found a perfectly formed feather nest in one of them. A camera is being installed in this box and is she is looking forward to watching a pair raise their brood at close quarters.

A nesting cabinet will be fitted onto the end of a garage which is about to be built in
the grounds of the house. This will happen in time for the coming season.

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