Rare birds nest easy at local reservoir thanks to funding windfall - The Rugby Observer
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18th Aug, 2022

Rare birds nest easy at local reservoir thanks to funding windfall

A RARE and threatened species of bird can nest easy at a reservoir between Rugby and Lutterworth.

Sand martins will have new homes at Stanford Reservoir in the form of bespoke nesting cabinets funded by a grant from the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund.

The £5,700 grant has enabled the Stanford Ringing Group (SRG) to establish a new 10-square-metre nesting area at the reservoir, comprising two large nesting cabinets which can accommodate 96 nests, and a new area planted with invertebrate-friendly flower species.

The project aims to encourage sand martins – a threatened species in the UK – to return to the area to breed, and to boost biodiversity, especially for butterflies.

Sand martins return to breed in vertical sandy banks at places like quarries and golf courses – but they have become scarce around Stanford Reservoir.

Each year, sand martins return to breed in vertical sandy banks at places like quarries and golf courses – but they have become scarce around Stanford Reservoir.

Peter Norrie of the SRG said: “We really look forward to having sand martins using these cabinets, and are sure that all visitors will enjoy the sight of breeding sand martins swooping over the water at Stanford in 2022.”

Jamie Prpa, manager at the nearby Tarmac Cotesbach landfill site, added: “It is such a shame that this bird species is in decline. We very much hope this grant will make a real difference and encourage these birds back to this area to breed. We look forward to hearing how busy the nesting cabinets are in spring.”

The SRG has been based at the reservoir, near South Kilworth, for more than 40 years, with volunteers placing metal rings around birds’ legs to measure migration and population. Conservation work is carried out from January through to March, when the birds begin nesting.

The group – with the help of local naturalists and bird watchers – will maintain the site and ring the juvenile birds, providing valuable conservation data for the British Trust for Ornithology.

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