In October 2012, as part of the 'Caring for Kestrels' project, the Trust launched its Nest Box Challenge Event. The objective was to install 104 nest boxes in the experimental area of the project in just 48 hours. Suitable areas had been located during the previous months by the Trust's Conservation Biologist, Dr Matt Stevens, and agreements had been reached with local landowners for access to the potential nest sites. A fundraising initiative was launched for local companies to sponsor the boxes and allow members of their staff to volunteer with installing the boxes. Scottish Southern Electric kindly donated 10 off-road vehicles plus ladders, equipment and drivers for each day, as part of their community volunteer scheme. As the weekend approached volunteers were placed into 10 teams, each with a team leader from the Trust, and person selected as a climber. GPS units, drills, screws and everything else that one might need for installing nest boxes were gathered together for each team.
Finally the weekend arrived and the teams were greeted by a fine, sunny weekend! After a welcome talk from Trust Executive Life President, Ashley Smith, and a project overview and safety briefing from Dr Stevens, the all-important team photos were taken. Teams were issued with maps, GPS coordinates of the nest sites, and with vehicles loaded with nest boxes and equipment everyone was on their way. Over 90 people took part during the weekend, which saw nest boxes installed throughout the South of England, from the Surrey borders to West Sussex.
The event was hosted by Trust President, Chris Packham, who signed certificates for every participant and company sponsor, and had his photo taken with all the teams. BBC TV's Springwatch filmed during the day and a feature about the weekend is due to be aired in Spring 2013
The Hawk Conservancy Trust is grateful to the following companies and individuals who helped make the weekend possible:
Company Sponsors & Project Supporters
|One-2-Create||NBC Bird and Pest Solutions|
|Unstuck Design||Grunden Waste Management|
|Dollin's Printers||London Camera Exchange, Southampton Civic Centre|
|Saqarra Projects||Hawke Binoculars|
|Swarovski Optic UK||Acumen Promotions|
|Scottish & Southern Electric||Pest Fix|
|Paultons Park||Anton Vets|
|Birdworld||Gauntlet Bird of Prey and Eagle Park|
|Wessex Fixings||ATF supplies|
|Investec||Beale Park Wildlife Park & Gardens|
|Falcon Leisure||Marwell Photography Group|
|Kestrel Guards||Drayton Manor Zoo|
|M&H Animals products|
Also grateful thanks to all of the local farmers and landowners who, without their help and support, this weekend would not have been possible.
Joan New, Graham & Rita Morgan, Verina Horsnell & Mike Smith, Members of the Hogs Back Chapter Harley Davidson Group, Gina & Toby Wyles, The Mayor of Test Valley Zillah Brooks, Katie Fox, Chris Worgan, Mike Hall, and A E Mercer.
Team Leaders and Climbers
Ian Sinclair, John Ellicock, Mike Shellard, Jamie Summers, Richard (Taff) Payne, Richard Hennessey, Rob Clarke, Brian May, Wayne Annetts, Dean Annetts, Dr Matt Stevens, Chris Worgan and Mike Hall.
Terry Verney & Ray Cracker (for making all the boxes)
Mark Rose and all of the Scottish Southern Electric drivers
Katie Fox, Douglas Johns, Martin Perryman, Rob Clarke and Dad! Graham Sercombe, Aaron Nother & James Nother, Dave Stubbington, Norman Man, Sharon Burley, Rob Voisey, Tim Lester, Brian Morris, Richard Stewart, Tom Harrison, Karl Fletcher, Karen Stevens, Ashley Smith, Penny Smout, Joseph Currie, Adrian Smith, Mike Platts, Paula Harper, Amanda Whittam, Duncan Macdonald, Susan Brown, Richard Stewart, John Baxter and the Hawk Conservancy Trust photographers.
2012 Nest Box Challenge Event participants