Buckingham Railway Walk
Conservation Group

Habitat Creation

Not just a pile of old twigs!  These habitat piles have been built up using the brush wood cut back during glade clearance activities. The piles provide shelter all year round for invertebrates, small mammals, insects, and in the spring nesting sites for some species of birds.

Bird boxes

There are over 50 bird boxes along the entire length of the walk. Each provides a facility that would otherwise be unavailable in the natural surroundings of the site. Most of the boxes were made with 18 or 22mm holes and are used by blue and great tits. A few are open fronted and are suitable for robins and spotted fly-catchers.

We also constructed a tawny owl box which has been in-situ since 2008 and in April 2011 a Kestrel box was put in place for us by Dave Short working as a volunteer for the Aylesbury Vale Barn Owl Scheme.
The tawny owl box has been used as a nesting site on a few occasions, owlets being spotted 'branching' near the box in spring. Two other possible locations have been identified for siting further tawny owl boxes.

Old nesting material is removed from all the small hole boxes and any repair work carried out ready for the new breeding season. From early April onwards Michael Hunt our ornithology expert makes regular visits to all the boxes, then  to a selection of those which are in use. Michael monitors them for species and egg and chick numbers. These records are reported to the British Trust for Ornithology.

In general, young woodland such as that along the Railway walk does not provide many natural nesting sites such as clefts or holes in trees that would normally be chosen by some birds. Therefore the placement of man-made boxes at intervals provides a welcome alternative which are proving popular for blue and great tits. Habitat piles, bramble patches, hedges and the tree canopy are all frequently used by other species and we aim to avoid disturbing these areas during the breeding season and concentrate our efforts on other tasks.

        ........................................Affiliated to The Conservation Volunteers.....................................     

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