Howbery to look out for birds

We have pledged to focus on birds during our second year taking part in a biodiversity scheme. In the first year, we championed bumblebees, completing the necessary criteria by October to earn our first petal of the Nurture Biodiversity Award.

Bird boxes on wall at Howbery ready to go out in the grounds

Bird boxes ready to be installed on Howbery Business Park

To enhance conditions for birds on the park and earn our next petal, we will have to meet a set of objectives defined by Nurture Landscapes (which maintains our grounds) in conjunction with the British Trust for Ornithology. The grounds team will be working on a initiatives that include adding more bird boxes, bird feeding and monitoring stations, and ensuring that there are plentiful berries and grains for birds to feed on in our grounds.

When we complete this year’s objectives, the British Trust for Ornithology logo will be inscribed on the blank petal of a flower-shaped award, joining that of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. We will then pick another area of biodiversity to focus on for the following year, such as butterflies, insects, amphibians or wildflowers. There are six petals to complete in total.

“Encouraging biodiversity is very important to us,” Howbery Park Estates Manager Donna Bowles explained. “We are committed to cherishing our beautiful landscape to the benefit of wildlife and people. We were thrilled to make a difference to bumblebees last year and are excited to now concentrate on birds.”

The Nurture Biodiversity flower-shaped award

The Nurture Biodiversity flower-shaped award

“We already know there is a rich variety of birdlife in the park and on the bordering stretch of the Thames, including woodpeckers, red kites, nuthatches, spotted flycatchers, and an occasional kingfisher, and we want to make sure conditions are right here and enable as many species as possible to thrive,” said Nurture’s Business Development and Biodiversity Manager Simon Blackley. “The aim of Nurture’s scheme is to improve biodiversity in small, manageable steps, and we are starting to see the differences that these actions can make. Birds are important to biodiversity for many reasons – they spread seeds, control pests, clean-up road-kill and give early warnings about the planet.”