During the construction of the new eco buildings at FarmED we’ve been giving just as much consideration to our avian visitors as to the humans who will be using the centre.
The three buildings have all been fitted with delux Schwegler bird boxes which have been built into the gable ends during construction. Integral to the buildings, they provide weatherproof and secure nesting sites for a variety of birds. There’s a sparrow terrace in the education building while in our FarmEAT building there are six separate boxes, all at different heights in an attempt to attract different species.
We’ve also installed six Schwegler swallow cups inside the gable end of the machinery shed as well as a kestrel box high up at the entrance on the outside of the same gable.
Sustainability is of paramount importance to us and our buildings include sheep’s wool insulation, solar panels to provide up to 14 kW of electricity for the centre when the sun shines, as well as rain water harvesting and water holding attenuation ponds as part of the natural flood management scheme. The bird boxes are in keeping with this. Schwegler is one of the most trusted brands in Europe for bird conservation equipment and nature conservation products, using wood from domestic sources and ensuring a healthy ecobalance.
We hope the birds will make good use of them. Kestrels are included on the amber list of birds of conservation concern due to the moderate decline of the UK breeding population. The cause of the recent decline since 2005 has not been identified but kestrels have been seen flying over Honeydale Farm. A blue tit claimed the penthouse box before we’d even finished drilling the last hole and it’s been seen going in and out by three different people on separate occasions so hopefully it decides to stay.