When I first launched my challenge 11 weeks ago, I’d planned to hold an event in my local park (Linn Park) to promote National Nest Box week (14 – 21 February). With the support of The Friends of Linn Park (FoLP), Glasgow City Council Ranger Service and the Glasgow RSPB Group we held an event on Saturday 17 February where members of the public could find out more about the birds that live in the park as well as having the chance to buy a box for their own garden or sponsor one that would be put up in the park.
In the lead-up to the event we had already secured support for 12 boxes for the park and it was decided part of the day would include putting up these boxes at pre-selected sites.
On Saturday morning I was really excited at the prospect of finally reaching my target of selling 100 boxes. However, when we first arrived it was absolutely pouring with rain and we thought we might need to reschedule. Fortunately after about half an hour the sun came out and we set up the gazebo with dedicated tables for the nest boxes for sale and information about the wildlife in the park. RSPB Glasgow also set up a stall to promote their work as well.
With the gazebo set up, we headed off to install the 12 park boxes with the assistance of some FoLP members, volunteers on the day and Gary Linstead from Glasgow City Council Ranger Service. Unfortunately we hit a problem early on. The format for the nest box location co-ordinates, which had been selected based on a survey carried out in 2015, didn’t appear to be compatible with the GPS trackers on our phones! Fortunately, Aidan McCormick from my bird ringing group (Clyde Ringing Group) had come along to support the event and his phone was the only one which had a compatible app that allowed us to find where we needed to go!
Once we got that problem sorted we spent about 2 hours siting the boxes in a variety of locations in the park. The 12 boxes put up so far will be monitored this nesting season by me and the FoLP team. Box sponsors will be sent updates on what bird species are using their box. This gives an opportunity for people to support wildlife in the park and keep up-to-date with how their support is making a difference to the birds present.
About halfway through putting up the boxes I left to help with a litter pick activity and arrived back to the gazebo just in time to personally hand-over my 100th box to a member of the RSPB who had attended the event. After completing my litter pick I re-joined the group to help put up the final three boxes in the woods.
The day was a huge success and we sold all the remaining boxes which, with additional donations, took the overall total from nest box sales since I started my challenge up to above £1000. I will be sending out cheques to the BTO, RSPB and SWT shortly for their share of the funds raised. Due to the success of the event we have decided to hold a further event later in the year to put up other sponsored boxes in time for the 2019 nesting season.
Thanks to everyone for their help and support for my challenge! It’s been hard work spending about 7 hours every weekend building the boxes, but it’s been so worth it! I’d like to say a special ‘thank you’ to the BTO, RSPB and SWT who have all been brilliant in promoting my challenge via Social Media as well as supporting me at a number of local events.
Next week I will be returning to my local Primary School as part of my local outreach initiative to give a talk about my nest box challenge, wildlife interests and to donate 2 boxes for their wildlife garden. Hopefully it might inspire some other local children to get involved with the nature on their doorstep.