My two nephews, Stan and Edwin aged 9 and 6, are really interested in all aspects of helping to address the climate emergency and in particular, protecting wildlife. They want to attract more birds into their own garden and help protect the ones in my garden.
Why do they want to do this? Because as well as being fun and fascinating to watch, they have learnt that birds are important to the environment (and therefore also humans) because on a basic level they control pests, pollinate plants and spread seeds.
On a more intricate level, birds also scavenge (carnivorous birds of prey) stopping the spread of disease, maintain the delicate balance between plant and herbivore, predate and prey in areas such as marshes, forests and grasslands that would otherwise not exist, but are vital for storing carbon, keeping the climate stable, oxygenating the air and transforming pollutants into nutrients, which in turn improves the lives of people even hundreds of miles away. Sea birds help to fertilise marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, which in turn helps to maintain another important part of the ecosystem – the sea. However, we cannot just have certain types of birds. The whole species are interlinked – playing an important role in whatever environment they live in whether it be your garden, the Amazon Rainforest, saltmarshes in the US or the sea etc. Once certain breeds become extinct, it upsets the balance.
So, with the help of my friend John and possibly their grandfather and uncle, we are going to make bird boxes and put them up to see what birds we can attract to nest in them.
Then we want to make more bird boxes to give out to try and get other people to do this too and hopefully improve the bird population in Boston Spa (as well as other places as people spread the word). So, off we go on the hunt for wood and nails and to do some research on the internet about different UK native and visiting birds. The main nesting season starts in only a couple of months, so we are officially on a mission! If anyone has any off-cuts of shutter board and or any spare odds and ends of nails and screws, they would be appreciated for the cause! Please contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know if you have anything so I can arrange to collect them.