Don’t wait until summer to enjoy the benefits of having a garden

11th Feb 2018

We’re busy carrying out winter lawn care services across the country, but chances are the pleasure you’re getting from your garden at the moment is largely what you’re observing from the warmth and comfort of your home.

Many of us put food out during cold weather to ensure birds have enough to eat, and because we love to see them! A friendly robin occupying his regular spot on the fence or a blue tit taking advantage of a well-stocked feeder bring smiles to the faces of young and old, and most would say they would love to see more of our feathered-friends when we look out of our windows.

This week is National Nest Box Week. Organised by the British Trust for Ornithology, it aims to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area for the conservation of breeding birds and wildlife.

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It’s something the whole family can get involved in, from making boxes to keeping watch for parent birds heading back to them with food for their chicks! Bird boxes can be bought or made to encourage birds of all sizes from House Sparrows to Tawny Owls, and they can be located in a whole variety of environments.

Pairs of small birds begin to prospect in the latter half of February, so a box put up at the end of the winter stands a good chance of attracting nesting birds. However, it is never too early or late to put up a nest box, as some birds will use them to roost in during the winter months.

Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Design matters! Consider the birds you’d like to encourage and the type of box your garden is suitable for.

2. Location, location, location! Don’t put a nest box on a pole in the middle of the garden. Birds prefer the security of a bit of shelter nearby. Avoid south-facing walls; the summer heat will make the box too warm for chicks.

3. Large garden? Think BIG. Large gardens with mature trees may be suitable for owl or kestrel boxes, particularly if you’re close to woodland or open countryside.

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4. Town house? Use the extra storey to attract swifts. If you live in a three-storey town house, consider putting up swift boxes. Better still, ask your housebuilder to fit them when they’re constructing your house!

5. Consider other winged creatures. Bats need boxes too!

6. Nourish your new family. Parent birds find extra sources of food invaluable during the breeding season. Here’s some guidance on safe food for garden birds. Fresh water is vital too, especially when natural water sources are frozen.

7. You’ve built your box, now build your knowledge! It is a great way to help you identify and get to know the birds that visit your garden.

If your lawn is looking worse for wear, has issued with moss or is waterlogged, contact your local Lawn Master depot. Our lawn experts have years of turf care experience as groundsmen and greenkeepers. They’ll carry out a free lawn analysis and explain how they can get your lawn in great shape for the warmer months.

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