Vine House Farm is an exemplary farm for wildlife conservation. Nicholas was awarded an MBE in 2006 and he won the RSPB 'Nature of Farming' award in 2013 (see here) and just recently, the Champion Sustainable Farming Award. The keys to success at Vine House Farm are many innovative ideas for providing habitat, including creation of ponds and reservoirs, hedges in parallel rows bordering meadows and other uncultivated plant life; provision of bird food and food crops; organic cultivation; and large numbers of nest boxes for Tree Sparrows, Barn Owls and Kestrels.
The farm is a profitable going concern of about 2500 acres, much of it used for growing bird food sold to feed garden birds.
You can read about Nicholas and the farm by googling e.g. here and here
|Hexagonal tower with entrances for Barn Owls, Kestrels and Tree Sparrows|
|Square Tower with entrances for|
Tree Sparrows, Barn Owls and Kestrels
The hexagonal tower above has entrances under the eaves for Tree Sparrows and other cavity nesters, such as tits. There are also more Tree Sparrow nest boxes in the lower half. Larger entrances lead to accommodation for Barn Owls and Kestrels.
One of the square towers, left has provided accommodation for 6 species, including Stock Dove, Jackdaw and Mallard.
These towers were built using reclaimed bricks and local manpower for the construction. Such a tower could be built for something like £3000.
At 4 metres high at the eaves, these towers would require little in the way of modification for Swifts. Though not essential, slightly higher eaves, say an additional metre, could be an advantage.
The hexagonal structure, in particular, would make an attractive addition to any project, and could accommodate a substantial Swift colony.