Love is in the air


A local water company is providing a set of love nests for the region’s feathered friends.

Northumbrian Water is supporting the launch of the British Trust for Ornithology’s National Nest Box Week, which starts on Valentines Day, by putting up 20 bird boxes and one owl box in woodland next to the bird hide at Derwent Reservoir.

The nest boxes have been hand-crafted by Ebony Woodwork, a Consett-based community project that is part of Durham County Council’s adult and community services team. The initiative works with adults with learning disabilities, to enable them to work, gain independence and be included within the local community.

The 11th National Nest Box Week runs from Saturday, February 14 to Saturday February 21, 2009 and aims to encourage people to put up nest boxes to encourage breeding birds and wildlife. This week was chosen because according to tradition, Valentine′s Day is the day when birds start pairing up before settling down to nest.

To mark the launch, Northumbrian Water’s conservation team has invited the adults from Ebony Woodwork to Derwent Reservoir to put up the nest boxes and enjoy some bird watching.

Reporters and photographers are invited to watch nest boxes being put up by members of Ebony Woodwork and conservation officers near the bird hide on Derwent Reservoir’s northern shore (a short walk from Tod Hill) on Thursday February 19, 2009 at 11.30am.

Steven Laws, project manager for Ebony Woodwork, said: “The day is a great opportunity for the team to see how their work is being used and appreciate how they are contributing to the conservation of wildlife.”

Andy McLay, wetlands conservation officer, representing an environmental partnership between Northumbrian Water and Durham Wildlife Trust, said: “Northumbrian Water is committed to conserving and enhancing biodiversity within our operating area.

“This is the time of year when birds will be busy seeking out nesting sites, and so we thought we’d give them a helping hand by putting up a few different types of bird box.”

Derwent Reservoir is within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is the second largest reservoir in the North East after Kielder Water. The south western corner of the reservoir has been managed as a nature reserve since 1967 and is an important breeding area for mallard, wigeon and teal. Great-crested glebe also nest at Derwent and Red kites are increasingly seen over the reservoir since their successful re-introduction to the Derwent Valley.

For more information contact Leanne Clough on 0191 301 6733.

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