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Newark and Sherwood District Council free bird box giveaway as part of the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch praised as a success

Earlier this year, Newark and Sherwood District Council launched a birdbox giveaway for primary schools in the area, aimed at engaging younger generations in protecting and enhancing biodiversity.

The initiative has now been praised as a success, with over 20 birdboxes distributed to students and teachers across the district.

The giveaway was held as part of the council’s support of the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch.

St Joseph Boughton school children. Photo: Newark and Sherwood District Council.
St Joseph Boughton school children. Photo: Newark and Sherwood District Council.

Alongside using the bird boxes to monitor birds visiting their school grounds and as a practical tool for learning about importance of helping wildlife thrive, the schools involved were asked to keep in touch with the council, sending photos of the birdbox and any wildlife guests it hosts, along with a yearly check in to chat about what they have seen over the seasons.

The council recently reached out to all the schools involved in the giveaway, as part of its week long support of Great Big Green Week, to see how they were getting out with their new birdbox.

The Great Big Green Week campaign aims to raise awareness for the sustainable changes we can all make to be kinder to our environment, whether it’s as individuals, businesses, councils, schools, or local communities.

Sourced from the RSPB, the bird boxes provided by the council are made from sustainable, durable timber, so they're safe for birds and have good insulation properties, making them warm in winter and cool in summer.

They are designed to have the right dimensions and ventilation that birds need, and only use non-toxic preservatives.

Pupils from Bleasby Primary School said: “We’ve seen blue tits and robins and have seen the pecking holes on the boxes from where the males are showing the females they are making a nest.”

Big Bird Watch giveaway. Photo: Newark and Sherwood District Council.
Big Bird Watch giveaway. Photo: Newark and Sherwood District Council.

Their free bird box has been included on their school grounds alongside the others they have within their quiet garden and their fantastic new wildlife area, which includes a new pond, nest sites, wildflowers for pollinators, an amphibian pit and cave and bat boxes.

The school also recently planted new fruit trees and hedgerows at their site, donated by the council.

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School added their bird box to their grounds nearby to their bird lookout hide and gave feedback that the donated birdbox has really complimented the education of pupils learn all about the wildlife they spot.

Matthew Finch, director of communities and environment, said: “We’re really pleased with the response we’ve had from the primary schools so far, and it’s wonderful to be a part of a project that is encouraging younger people and children to have a real interest in protecting our environment, and being proactive in doing so.

“Projects such as this are a brilliant way to get younger generations engaged in the wonders of biodiversity.

“It’s been great to hear not only about the learning opportunities they are getting from the bird boxes, but also about all the other fantastic work our local schools are doing to support their local environment and educate pupils about the importance of doing so.

“As we’ve had such a positive response to this project we are looking into a giveaway for free bat boxes in the future, so stay tuned.”

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