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New Accommodation Introduced at University of Worcester - This Time for Birds

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More than 30 bird boxes have been installed at the University of Worcester as part of its commitment to the environment.

B&Q (Malvern) has sponsored the scheme, donating 25 boxes suitable for house sparrows, great tits, blue tits, and nuthatches. In addition, three starling nest boxes and nine boxes for robins and wrens have been installed. The boxes will be monitored annually by students from the University’s Environmental and Conservation Society.

It follows the installation of two bee hotels at the University’s St John’s Campus last year to help the Country’s wild bee population.

Dr Duncan Westbury, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Worcester, said: “We are all aware that we should provide food and water for our garden birds throughout the year, but we also need to think about where these birds can nest. Increasing the survival of our adult birds by providing food and water only addresses one of the reasons for declines in our urban birds. Providing nest boxes that are correctly positioned will help safeguard our vulnerable bird species.”

Following advice from John Day at the RSPB, Dr Westbury instigated the bird box scheme on St John’s campus at the University of Worcester.

Dr Westbury added: “Many bird species in the UK and across Europe have declined significantly since the 1970s and some of these key species can be found in urban gardens. However, there is an increasing trend for gardens to be kept tidier and weed free, along with lawns being replaced with low maintenance concrete, gravel or paving, in turn this reduces the availability of food for our garden birds. Suitable nesting sites have also been lost due to modern building design and construction. These factors amongst others are believed to have contributed to the decline of our once common birds such as starling and house sparrow.”

As part of the initiative, this year sees the start of an annual ringing project of birds on the University’s St John’s Campus. Birds will be monitored by David Coker, a long-standing licensed bird ringer based in Ledbury, in conjunction with students at the University studying Conservation Ecology / Environmental Management.

Dr Westbury said: “The bird ringing and bird box monitoring will provide an excellent learning opportunity for our students, whilst providing valuable information about our breeding birds on St John’s Campus.”

Mr Coker added: “As well as improving the environment on the campus for birds, the nest boxes will enable the students to collect data to be fed into the Integrated Population Monitoring programme of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), which provides key indicators on the welfare of the nation’s birds to government and conservation agencies.”

For information on courses at University of Worcester visit www.worcester.ac.uk or for application enquiries telephone 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk