contact us


Colby Lodge


latest events









back5


Archived News


Love Is In The Air
Pembrokeshire needs more holes!!
Come springtime, love is in the air ......... at least for our garden birds!
They will be pairing up and looking for somewhere to build their nests, but there is a housing crisis! Natural nest sites, such as holes in trees and buildings, are fast disappearing as gardens and woods are ‘tidied' and old houses are repaired.
National Nest Box Week, is sponsored by Jacobi Jayne & Co & organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Britain's leading bird research charity, whose work primarily involves studying the populations of our common and garden birds. It is launched every year on 14th February, Valentine's Day, when according to tradition, is the day birds start pairing up before settling down to nest, to encourage members of the public to erect nest boxes in their gardens.
More of the UK is garden than nature reserve and so gardens form an incredibly important habitat for the nation's birds. However, with our modern desire for tidy, organised gardens and perfect houses, birds are missing out on the places they traditionally nest. Ivy covered walls, holes under the eaves of roofs, these are places birds like to nest, but they are rapidly disappearing. So, what can we do to help?
 

 
image by: T. Holden/BTO
A Blue Tit on a nesting box
 
Launched in 1997, National Nest Box Week highlights the need for people to provide nesting places for the UK's garden birds. The simple act of putting up a box in a suitable place can make the spring for a pair of birds looking to raise a family. Different types of boxes attract different species, and once used, can attract birds year after year.
“Nest boxes are incredibly easy to build or buy and can make a huge difference to the lives of our garden birds. In return you get the enjoyment of watching them raise a family. Blue Tits love them, but depending on where you are in the country you could get all manner of species moving in ”, says Jeff Baker, the BTO's organiser of National Nest Box Week.
“It's not just birds either, each year we get reports of bats using them to roost in too. So why not provide a home and just watch what happens?”
More than 60 species of birds have been recorded using nest boxes. Most commonly, Blue and Great Tits will use the typical round hole design, while Robins, Blackbirds and Spotted Flycatchers prefer open-fronted boxes and a well situated nest box can have up to 15 Blue Tits fledge from it in a good year!
 

 
image by: T. Holden/BTO
A Blue Tit peeping out of a nesting box
 
So whether you're a family with space for a box in your garden, or you're a teacher, a member of a local wildlife group or you belong to a bird club and could organise a work party, National Nest Box Week gives you the chance to give a brood a home. Not only will you be helping the conservation effort in the UK, but you will also have the pleasure of observing any breeding birds that you attract to your garden as they work to raise their young.
This year Pembrokeshire Biodiversity Partnership is developing a project to provide nest boxes for kestrels on farmland. “The project will help house kestrels in areas where they can't currently find shelter. We are looking for volunteers who would like to help construct these boxes”, says Bethan Cox, Biodiversity Officer.
If you'd like to join in contact Bethan Cox on 07901 541728 or visit the get involved page where you can volunteer to help by filling in the form online.
Copies of the The BTO Nestbox Guide can be obtained for £8.99 (including p&p) from Jacobi Jayne & Co, Freepost 1155, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 7BR or call Freephone 0800 072 0130. An information pack about nest boxes is also available from this address.
Related Sites
 National Nest Box Week
 British Trust for Ornithology
 Pembrokeshire Biodiversity Partnership
top of page
Ferry Good Surveys!
Last year we (Sea Trust) were approached by Stena Line, Fishguard, and asked if we might conduct some cetacean surveys from their Ferry. The Stena Europe, runs between Fishguard and Rosslaire in Ireland all year round and presented us with the perfect opportunity to do year round surveys from a big stable platform, perfect!

On the other hand Pencaer Observation and recording Project (Precursor to Sea Trust) had began as a means of putting pressure on Stena Line to stop running its ferry trough the tide race that passes Strumble head.

The tide race is frequented by breeding porpoises and their calves in the summer months and I had been horrified to see the Stena Express Fast ferry charging through them at the beginning of the summer sailings.

I telephoned them but never managed to get through to any one in charge. I then wrote a few letters to the press and spoke on Radio Pembrokeshire highlighting the problem. The next thing we were in a little PR war with Stena’s  London based PR agency. They protested that dolphins loved the ferry and there was myself saying they were likely to wipe out the Strumble porpoises.

In the end I just drove down to the port, walked into the port managers office and explained the situation. Roy took me to see the captain of the “Express” and he happily agreed to slightly alter course and avoid the tide race! Alls well that ends well, but better still it developed into a good working relationship.

We have completed over fifty days of survey work from the Stena Europe with Stena Line giving us free tickets, onboard accommodation and access to the bridge, (from where we survey.) We in  turn have helped in their publicity and given regular lectures and dolphin spotting opportunities to their passengers. Better still we have made friends with the captains and crews also the shore staff.  I can’t think of a better example of local business and conservationists working together.

Funnily enough I often muse as to how things come about, as we sail past the Strumble lookout, where I used to get infuriated watching the ferry shooting through the porpoises in the tide race. What looks like an extremely obvious feature (the tide race) from the shore is hardly discernable from the bridge of the ship. Nor are the porpoises unless you are really looking for them! They probably thought I was bonkers until they met me …er, probably time to stop whilst I am ahead.  CB
top of page


Funding support for training in Countryside Management Skills.
Please find details of the Countryside Council for Wales project which ends 31st March ‘06.  Approval for funding will have to be requested by the training provider in advance.   The project is aimed at contractors, volunteers, estate workers, farm businesses who have Welsh holding numbers - but aren’t actively farming, aren’t registered with Farming Connect and don’t have a Tir Gofal agreement - and those in the land-based industries that work in the Environmental Conservation sector.  The project will provide training and upskilling in countryside skills namely:
New public access creation/management
Dry stone walling
Hedge-laying, coppicing, replanting
Restoration of earth banks
Tree planting
Fencing and gate installation
Pond creation and management
Bracken control
Control of invasive species
Pollarding
Pruning and grafting of orchard trees
NB.  No other course will be considered for funding.
All trainees will attend Lantra registered courses taught by a Lantra registered instructor. All instructors and providers of training will be registered on the Lantra professional register prior to commencement of project.
All trainees will be aged 16yrs +.
Funding will be at the rate of 29% - the trainee will be responsible for the remaining 71%.
For more information contact Hefin Hughes [Hefin.Hughes@lantra.co.uk] office 01982 552646, mobile 07867 908185.
top of page


Pembrokeshire’s Biodiversity Gathering
Over 50 delegates attended Pembrokeshire's first biodiversity gathering.
The day was filled with discussions on current challenges, ideas for future
projects and ways we can inform different audiences about biodiversity.
There was a great diversity of participants including government employees
charged with safeguarding the environment, business employees interested in
making a difference, community support workers and volunteers who spend time studying the distribution of species in the county.  The gathering presented
an excellent opportunity to meet fellow workers and discuss ideas for
projects to develop in 2006 and beyond.  A full report will be presented in
the New Year summarising the discussions that took place as well as
outlining the future plan of action Pembrokeshire Biodiversity Partnership
proposes to take forward.Over 50 delegates attended Pembrokeshire's first biodiversity gathering.

The day was filled with discussions on current challenges, ideas for future
projects and ways we can inform different audiences about biodiversity.
There was a great diversity of participants including government employees
charged with safeguarding the environment, business employees interested in
making a difference, community support workers and volunteers who spend time studying the distribution of species in the county.  The gathering presented
an excellent opportunity to meet fellow workers and discuss ideas for
projects to develop in 2006 and beyond.  A full report will be presented in
the New Year summarising the discussions that took place as well as
outlining the future plan of action Pembrokeshire Biodiversity Partnership
proposes to take forward.

top of page
.
Pembrokeshire