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Helping hand to increase bird numbers in Worcester

Worcester City Council staff putting up bird nesting boxes at Laugherne Brook Nature Reserve

Worcester City Council declared a biodiversity emergency in 2020, recognising that action needs to be taken immediately to stop the decline of our native species.

As part of our work, we've joined forces with the RSPB (Worcester and Malvern branch) to help boost bird numbers in the city.

In March RSPB volunteers met up with Darren and Josh – members of the City Council's environmental operations team - to put up 25 nesting boxes in the Laugherne Brook Nature Reserve in St. John's, Worcester.

"We've mainly set up nesting boxes for starlings; they are a fairly common sight in the winter when they migrate from other colder countries.However, starlings nesting in the UK are now a red-listed species," explained Nick Skilbeck from the RSPB.

"We've also installed some large Owl nesting boxes – although jackdaws love them too, in reality!"

According to the RSPB, the number of birds in the UK has declined by 50 million since the 1960s and they now need all the help they can get.

More nesting boxes are needed in Worcester in areas where trees are still young and haven't reached maturity and don't have natural holes.The City Council's environmental operations team have received training from the RSPB to ensure boxes are installed in suitable locations.

The boxes have been made by Worcester Environmental Group volunteers at Worcester Community Trust's Building Block – a construction training facility in Warndon.Materials have been paid for by a Community Environment Grant from Worcester City Council.

As well as at Laugherne Brook, the team has also set up nesting boxes in Warndon Woods, Offerton Lane Nature Reserve, Perdiswell Park, Cromwell Crescent Park and Astwood Cemetery.

The RSPB group conducts bird surveys in these woods and parks, to establish if our birdlife is benefiting from more places to nest. RSPB volunteers will also be able to change where we put the boxes if they are not being used.

In addition to Council-owned land, the RSPB has installed an artificial sand martin bank on the River Severn, Diglis Island, and has several other conservation projects in and around Worcester.

Want to help?  Here's advice from the RSPB on how to attract nesting birds to your garden

  • -Put up a sparrow terrace-box high up, under the eaves, on quiet, secluded walls, sheltered from full midday sunshine.North or east facing walls are ideal.
  • -Construct a log pile or bug hotel in your garden, so there's plenty of food for birds.
  • -Mow your lawn less frequently – or leave a strip unmown so that wildflowers will grow and attract pollinators.
  • -Don't cut your hedges in the nesting season (mid-March to mid-June)

Find out more about the action the City Council is taking at Enhancing biodiversity - Worcester City Council 

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