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The birds and the bees

Industry initiative for conservation

A restored quarry in Cambridgeshire has been providing homes of a different kind. The clay dug here was used to make bricks to construct houses, but now staff at King`s Dyke Nature Reserve are more concerned with providing homes for birds and woodcrete nest boxes have been installed to replace wooden boxes destroyed by woodpeckers!

This Hanson Building Products site is just one of the participants in the 2004 BTO-Hanson Business Bird Challenge. This competition encourages business sites around the country, from a diverse range of industries, to monitor numbers of bird species and initiate environmental management plans, as well as involving local communities in conservation work. At Britannic Assurance`s Headquarters in Birmingham, the emphasis is also on providing housing and almost 40 bird and bat boxes have been erected around the site. Other wildlife hasn`t been ignored and bee-nesting boxes for two species have also been provided. At Huntsman Tioxide`s Greatham Works site in Cleveland, amphibians have not been forgotten and hibernaculums have been installed ? hotels for hibernating newts, frogs and toads!

Many companies incorporate the Challenge into their Biodiversity Action Plan and work with local wildlife trusts and organisations such as English Nature to limit the effects of potentially damaging activities, but equally important is community involvement. Many sites have established volunteer Friends of? groups that provide invaluable assistance, while others place an emphasis on environmental education, welcoming students from local schools and colleges.

For further information please contact: Helen Kramer on 01842 750050 during office hours or e-mail: challenge@bto.org

4th July 2014