Thursday 17 May 2012

Bury Farm, Stapleford, Cambs

Written by Dick

Bury Farm, Stapleford was a derelict Victorian granary which has been converted into offices for the ACE Foundation. The land surrounding the building has a stream running through it, and is something of a wildlife haven. The ACE Foundation is keen to enhance the site for wildlife and have already installed Barn Owl boxes. After talking to Rob Mungovan, Ecology Officer at South Cambs District Council, Kevin Hand approached us about the possibility of installing Swift nest-boxes on their building.

Bury Farm with swift nest-boxes installed

8 nest-boxes ready for installation
This is a very nice looking building, so any installation of nest-boxes has to be unobtrusive. The eaves of the building have joists with spaces about 300mm between them, and they extend outwards for about 200mm.  So, we designed simple nest-boxes, with an open top, to fit between the joists and tucked up behind the gutter.
Although the floor area of the boxes is on the small side, it should be more than adequate for Swifts. The maximum width of the boxes being about 175mm and length about 270mm.
We decided not to include nest concave platforms, as, given the limited space, it may be better for the swifts themselves to decide exactly where they want to position their nests.

Nest-box in place, with bottom removed for installation
The boxes were installed by me, Dick, and Clarke Brunt by securing them with 2 screws, one each side, into the adjacent joists. The boxes are very light weight, so this is more than adequate to support them.

Installation complete, with tweeter speaker attached.
After replacing the bottom of the boxes, a tweeter driven by A Box of Swifts was attached to one box, by using double sided stickers normally used for sticking mirrors onto walls.
This is a very nice site, where the boxes are high with a lot of space in front of them, and we achieved our goal of making them virtually invisible.
There is plenty of scope for more nest-boxes in the future.


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