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Dairy terrace installed

by Rod Kebble

The artificial nests made by CRT volunteer Brian Lavers have now been installed as a three-home terrace on a corner of the dairy facing the pond.

Here’s a sequence of photos recording the process:

Two plaster house martin nests made by Countryside Restoration Trust volunteer Brian Lavers.

A close-up of two of the plaster nests. Their shape suggests a couple of Mrs Lavers' kitchen bowls were co-opted during the manufacturing process.

Countryside Restoration Trust volunteers put up artificial nests for house martins at Pierrepont Farm.

Having finally found a ladder the right length, Brian Lavers installs his terrace of house martin nests, assisted by Brian Sams.

Countryside Restoration Trust volunteer Brian Lavers adds some mud render to artifical house martin nests at Pierrepont Farm.

The nests in position, Brian adds a coat of mud from the pond to make the nests look natural to house martins, who — it is hoped — will line the nests themselves with grasses and other soft materials.

Artificial house martin nests on the dairy at the Countryside Restoration Trust's Pierrepont Farm.

The finished nests await the arrival of house martins in April or May. To the left of the nests can be seen the eaves of the dairy which lack the horizontal surface necessary for the birds to build nests themselves. As well as making it harder for predators to invade the nest, the presence of a flat horizontal surface allows the nest to be attached to two surfaces for strength.

Pregnant cows at the Countryside Restoration Trust's Pierrepont Farm.

This corner of the dairy is at present being used as a maternity ward. All the cows in this picture were due to give birth in the next few days and one began to do so while the terrace of nests was being erected.