As part of our ambitious project under the Greater Manchester Environment Fund we pledged to make 100 features (bird, bat, owl, hedgehog boxes) split between Leverhulme Park and local residents homes. Breightmet, Darcy Lever and Tonge have unofficial wildlife corridors, a substantial number of streets have gardens that back onto each other making perfect bat corridors, the only problem being, there are no bat boxes! Which is why we're offering local residents that have a suitable tree or house with a south, south-west or South-East facing placement between 2.5m to 5m in height, a free bat box!
Similar Bat Boxes sell online for between £13.24 to £15 (if you include postage), so a massive thank you to all the volunteers who cut, screwed, hammered and linseed oil painted these boxes to the value of £735. If you'd like a bat box, please call by the Garstang Allotments between 11am till 2pm on a Saturday and we'll take a note of your street, (for our records) and you walk away with a new home for your local bats!
As for our goal of 100 features, we had already completed 18 Robin, 18 House Sparrow, a further 18 Robin and 4 hedgehog houses, some local residents had already placed them in their gardens and some had already been placed at Leverhulme Park. We're currently working on putting them out or donating them to residents who are committed to helping the local wildlife.
For those of you interested in making your own wildlife boxes, here's the technical details, we purchased Rough Sawn 22x150mm ungraded planks at 3.60m, costing £7.20 each from Beesley & Fildes. Cut into 3 equal 1.20m lengths we could then build 3 bird boxes of our choice, the British Trust for Ornithology has some great free PDF examples, Roughly taking into account linseed oil (safe for wildlife), felt for the roof (bulk buy) and screws (screwfix bulk buy) it roughly cost us only £3 to make a bird box. A bat box used significantly less wood and would cost us only £2.50 but Tawny Owl Nest Box and Hedgehog houses cost us £16 in wood and materials, however this resulted in a 220mm thick home that would at the very least would last five years or more. Compared to the common commercial hedgehog homes selling for £30 made from 100mm thick timber and at it's worse, plywood. A massive thank you, yet again to the wonderful volunteers at the Garstang Hub for giving their valuable time to this project. Don't hesitate to contact Bolton NEWT at BoltonNEWT@gmail.com or message our facebook page if you'd like to put up a box in your local area.