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9:22 AM 12th February 2020

North Yorkshire Moors Group Delivers Free Nest Boxes To Schools For National Nestbox Week

This week (14-21st February) is National Nestbox Week, and to celebrate, The North Yorkshire Moors Moorland Organisation (NYMMO) will be distributing free bird boxes to schools in the local area.

The moorland group built the boxes themselves, and have teamed up with Countryside Learning to distribute bird boxes to over 200 schools in the local area in the coming week. The box will be delivered with a children’s information pack from Songbird Survival, a charity who fund research into the decline in Britain’s much cherished songbirds, and hope to find solutions to restore their numbers.

It might seem odd to start a national ‘week’ on a Friday, but the date was chosen for a reason.

“National Nest Box week coincides with Valentine’s Day to mark the beginning of the breeding season – when many songbirds are starting to pair up or rekindle previous or life partnerships”, explains Georgina Bradley from the Songbird Survival Trust. “It is a great way to inspire youngsters to give nature a new home.”

With fewer natural nesting sites for birds, such as hedgerows and holes in trees, nestboxes are increasingly important for nesting birds.

“Our songbirds need all the help we can give them. They face difficulties with the weather and climate change, lack of food and pollution causing insect loss, lack of nesting sites and too many predators that will eat them, especially their eggs, nestlings and fledglings”, says Georgina. “Any help we can offer them with a safe, warm, strong nest box and plentiful supply of food for them and their babies will really make a huge difference.”

Anna Hare of Countryside Learning explained: “Countryside Learning are delighted to work again with NYMMO – this time it is to offer support with National Nestbox week. Countryside Learning have contacted schools in and around the North York Moors and made them aware of the project and how NYMMO are providing free nest boxes for schools. The take up rate has been high and the schools have expressed excitement about being able to place nest boxes around their sites and allow the birds reap the benefits of many years to come.”

The North Yorkshire Moors and the surrounding areas are home to a wide array of wildlife, from badgers and stoats to birdlife ranging from raptors including merlin and peregrine, to ground-nesting birds such as curlew and snipe. Nestboxes play an important role for birdlife here, and they can be found across the Moors, both in peoples’ gardens and across the estates. Songbirds such as nuthatch, pied flycatchers, robins and many types of tit call them home, while larger boxes are popular with Barn Owls.

“Here at NYMMO we think it is so important for the next generation to learn about the wide variety of species and bio-diversity that exist within our moorlands”, explains Tina Brough, of NYMMO. “The bird box scheme is a great way for children to engage and get first had experience of bird conservation.”

For further information on the NYMMO and their nestbox scheme, please contact Tina Brough on: tina.b@nymmo.org