Our Patch: Nest Box-Making at Stadt Moers Park

By on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

our_patch_sj_jarmanWe had such a pleasurable morning on 15 March at Stadt Moers Park, working with the rangers making bird nest boxes for the nearby woodland.

nestbox3The event was arranged by The Friends of Stadt Moers Park, and one of the members kindly came along to put the nest boxes up.

Although it had been a cold windy start to the day, the sun was shining kindly on us as we arrived for our morning’s forestry activity.

On arrival, the children had a look around the Visitors Centre and interacted with the many natural materials dotted around the classroom, and chatted with the ranger about the birds and other wildlife to be found in the park.

naturally inquisitive to touch and see, and it was lovely for the parents seeing their curiosity piqued.

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The children were The ranger had a nest box which had been used by birds in the past, and the children were fascinated by the materials inside; fluff hair, twigs and moss were tangled together to make a warm bedding, and there was no hesitation in small hands being thrust into the box to feel for themselves.

Having seen both the boxes and how they would be used, the children readily accepted the task of constructing one for themselves.

Once we had decided on an activity, the children collected the materials, which had already been cut, marked and prepared, along with the equipment they needed. Within minutes they were hammering away – it’s fair to say for a short while it was difficult to hear yourself think.

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It was a small group, so it felt safe to let them use the hammers, and very soon there were eight nest boxes constructed. I don’t think I am the only parent who held the nail very gingerly whilst a toddler held a hammer over it.

The children then used felt-tip pens to decorate the boxes and write their names on them to personalise them, so we could identify them in the future.

Once they were complete, the children took their boxes outside to the nearby woodland to pick a tree, and their nest boxes were nailed in place, hopefully to be used this spring by nesting blue tits and great tits.

After a short walk and play in the woodland, the children were invited back to the Visitors Centre, where they were allowed to take the necessary materials to make a further nest box for home.

From inside, we could see birds visiting a nest box which had already been placed outside, and other birds visiting the feeders placed to the rear, so the children then had an idea of what might make a nest in their boxes once they were in situ.

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Both the rangers and the Friends of Stadt Moers group run many events – we are lucky to have them, and need to make sure these excellent activities are well-attended to ensure their future survival.

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SJ, also known as Sarah and Sarah-Jane, held her dream job as a breastfeeding peer support worker until becoming a full-time mum of three. She still volunteers at Whiston Hospital.

In her spare time, SJ loves to read, and play cello with the Knowsley Youth Orchestra. She confesses to being a secret singer ever since hubby Trev bought her SingStar.

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