About the project
All birds and animals need somewhere safe to roost and breed. Some do this on or under the ground; others prefer holes in trees or sheltered positions in shrubs or among branches and many of these have adapted to colonise buildings with suitable spaces. The number of suitable sites is decreasing rapidly as people destroy natural habitats for development and seal buildings for warmth.
Since it was formed, the Trust has worked to provide alternative lodgings by putting up boxes for animals to shelter in. It is important to have a spread of nesting and roosting sites so we ignore council or county boundaries – just like the wildlife. There are a number of sites along the valley where you can see some of our boxes, along with others provided by various organisations.
We are lucky to have two very skilled wood workers who are happy to build boxes for us - John Mackey and Chris Welch, and we are very grateful.
For a number of years we ran public workshops building 24 bird boxes each February during National Nest Box Week. Extra bird boxes were made and put up along the Valley and these continue to be monitored.
Along with fifty or so swift nest boxes, built by John, we have increased the nesting opportunities by many hundreds.
Tice’s Meadow has many boxes that can be seen and Grant’s Moor also has a number of tit boxes.
There are lots of websites about installing and looking after bird boxes:
- Nestboxes For The Garden - The RSPB
- Nestboxes: Your Complete Guide | BTO - British Trust for Ornithology
You might also look at our project page on Saving our Amazing Swifts.
We have also put up bat boxes, generally using commercial boxes as these are the best option for the bats. Some projects have been funded directly by the Trust but we have also worked in collaboration with other funders like the Surrey Bat Group, Hampshire Bat Group, and even local authorities.
Over one hundred bat boxes have been put up in various sites, and some have gone into hibernation sites along and near the Valley. These have to be monitored by licenced bat workers but we have been able to invite a few members to join these checks.
Bat boxes can be seen along the river path at Moor Green Lakes and Lakeside Park.
John has also built some hedgehog boxes which have been used in Frimley Green and Farnborough.
Chris has kindly built 150 dormouse boxes for sites monitored by the Surrey Dormouse Group which has enabled them to have great quality and reasonably priced boxes, while making a contribution to the Trust’s funds.