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Housing house martins

by Rod Kebble

One of the reasons for installing the pond in front of the new dairy was that it might encourage birds such as the house martin to use its muddy margins as a source of nest-building material.

There is however one snag: the new dairy has the wrong sort of eaves. While British readers might think this sounds like an excuse offered by one of our train operators, it happens to be true.

House martins like to build their nest beneath a horizontal surface — probably more to prevent predation than for æsthetic reasons — and the dairy’s eaves simply lack any.

Flying to the rescue comes CRT volunteer Brian Lavers, who has built a terrace of three affordable homes nestling in a right angle formed by a horizontal surface meeting a vertical one.

A suitable spot has been selected for the nests and they will soon be fixed in position under the unsuitably-eaved roof in time for Spring.

Three nests built for house martins by Countryside Restoration Trust volunteer Brian Lavers.

The three nests are made from plaster and will be given a coat of mud before being installed on an outside wall of the dairy.