Every garden should have a nest box

Valentine’s Day, February 14, marks the start of the 20th annual National Nest Box Week, organised by British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).

Putting up nest boxes at any time is good but especially so during this week, providing somewhere for our garden birds to roost and breed,

According to BTO more than 60 species of bird have been recorded using nest boxes in the UK – but many are struggling after a poor year in 2016.

You can build your own – a good family activity – or buy them ready constructed. If you are visiting Rutland Water Nature Reserve check out the Trust’s shop at the Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre.

Vine House Farm has a range of high quality nest boxes and camera nest boxes for the birds in your garden, available by mail order

Camera boxes allow you to watch every stage of a bird's breeding cycle from nest building right up to the young fledging (leaving the nest box), from the comfort of your home as the live video can be watched on your TV.

Don’t forget that birds are not the only animals to use boxes. Hedgehogs will use them for breeding and hibernation, bats favour them for roosting and hibernation, while insects such as ladybirds and solitary bees will be attracted to your garden to hibernate in winter.

Photograph: c. Amy Lewis.

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