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Provision for birds in buildings Turning buildings into bird friendly habitats Dr Kate Vincent – Senior Ecologist Baker Shepherd Gillespie – Ecological.

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Presentation on theme: "Provision for birds in buildings Turning buildings into bird friendly habitats Dr Kate Vincent – Senior Ecologist Baker Shepherd Gillespie – Ecological."— Presentation transcript:

1 Provision for birds in buildings Turning buildings into bird friendly habitats Dr Kate Vincent – Senior Ecologist Baker Shepherd Gillespie – Ecological Consultants

2 The design for biodiversity approach National/regional/local policy and guidance Key documents justifying this approach: –Working with grain of nature: A Biodiversity Strategy for England (DEFRA 2002) –biodiversity a fundamental consideration across all main sectors of public policy –PPS 9:Biodiversity and Geological Conservation –change to net gain of biodiversity via enhancements delivered through planning system

3 Other benefits to developers such as: –Offering developers the chance to secure planning approval; –Engaging the support of local communities; –Demonstrating corporate/social/environmental responsibility –Achieve a unique selling point for development; –Adding Value to BREEAM/Code for Sustainable Homes with Ecology The design for biodiversity approach

4 Why help urban birds? Birds play an important role in adding to biodiversity in urban centres Several species of bird use buildings to breed Many species are in decline; house sparrow (UK priority list & red listed) starling (UK priority list & red listed) house martin & swallow (amber listed) swift (41% from 1994 to 2007) black redstart (rare breeding bird in UK)

5 Which birds use buildings? Some breed extensively in or on buildings; house sparrow, house martin & swift Others are highly dependent on buildings for nesting; starlings, swallows, black redstart kestrel and peregrine falcon will also use nest boxes on buildings

6 Making buildings bird friendly: Retrofitting and new builds Modern housing intended to be weather tight & well pointed so can exclude birds Renovation/roof replacement of older houses can remove nesting opportunities Retrofit existing buildings/include bird friendly design in new buildings Engage architects in thinking about designing in wildlife

7 Incorporating birds New design: Ideally when new development is being designed biodiversity is given priority Birds can be designed in very easily through creating internal nesting opportunities History of key local bird populations - include in design

8 Incorporating birds Retrofitting If unable to retain or create internal nests put a nestbox on the outside Position under the eaves, out of the direct sun, wind and rain Species specific hole sizes are important –32 mm for house sparrows –45 mm for starlings –swifts require a 'letterbox' entrance of minimum 65 mm x mm

9 House Sparrow Can be put within fabric of building My PhD study site in Leicester Single boxes spread out across house; more successful than terrace idea

10 Swift Bricks made of concrete, and has a hollow interior measures 180mm high, 265mm wide, and is 220mm deep Use it in blockwork or brickwork walls, ideally as the top course Install them in a straight line, under the eaves or at the top of a vertical wall, away from window Install: 1 to 4 Swift Bricks on a house 4 to 10 on a small block of flats 10 to 20 on a school/hospital warehouse/apartment block

11 Taken from

12 Internal swift bricks Swiss Cottage Sports Centre, London Swift bricks can be hidden behind rendering/pebble dash/tile/stone facing Need the 55mm x 33mm entrance hole to be exposed for access Notting Hill Housing Trust/Barnet Council sheltered housing project Added nest sites to replace lost nest sites

13 External swift boxes Islington Borough Council offices boxes put up in 2007 London Zoo; 2 types of boxes Swift call recordings were played to attract the birds

14 Custom made examples: Oxford University Tower; behind each vent is a double nestbox in which the swifts breed 147 boxes; avg 50 to 60 used

15 made to camouflage with surroundings swift nestbox installation at Kings Cross

16 Swift towers opportunities for tower colonies are: MOD sites power stations hospitals mobile phone masts railway sidings Min.height is 7 metres (higher the better) design based on German design for a house martin tower colony Designed by Dick Newell of Action for Swifts Swift Towers

17 Others: House Martins tower fitted with many artificial nests, set up on a village green in Germany Artificial nests are readily available and easy to install

18 Others: black redstart; wagtails; starling This main cavity is supplied without a front panel as there are different types of front panel to meet the needs of various bird species

19 Others; swallow Open cup design Easy to install

20 Others; falcons Peregrine Falcons; 10 pairs nesting in cities; Eg: Manchester, Lincoln, Derby & even on the Tate Modern in London Kestrels becoming common breeders in cities

21 If artist Benjamin Verdonck can install a giant birds nest on the side of a building in Rotterdam, there is no excuse not to provide for the small feathered variety.

22 Useful information: – ecological consultantswww.bsg-ecology.com – Swift Conservation Advisory Servicewww.swift-conservation.org – Swift Conservation for Scotlandwww.concernforswifts.com


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