To kick off March and the official start of bird nesting season the Wildlife Group at the Community Farm have put together this handy guide to making your own open-fronted nesting box. This design is inspired by the British Trust of Ornithology Robin Nest Box Design.
There are different nest box types including open-fronted nest boxes that attract little birds like Robins, Blackbirds and Wrens, compared to hole-fronted nest boxes that attract tits and sparrows. Natural nesting holes are becoming increasingly rare in the UK due to urbanisation and development so artificial nest boxes like these are very important to nesting birds for protection from predators and harsh weather conditions. At The Farm we made 5 open-fronted nest boxes for our feathery visitors that are now up in various spots around the farm, particularly within hedgerows.
1) Find some reclaimed wood planks – any wood is fine as long as you make sure it isn’t too old and hasn’t been exposed to the weather! At The Farm we were kindly gifted some amazing FSC oak floorboards from Treework Flooring (thank you for your kind donation!).
2) Cut the plank into six sections:
- Roof- 15cm x 20cm
- Base- 15cm x 12cm
- Front- 15cm x 14cm (this was our choice and is the highest option)
- Back- 15cm x 30cm
- Side 1- 15cm x 17.5cm (one edge length) and 20cm (other edge length)
- Side 2- 15cm x 20cm (one edge length) and 17.5cm (other edge length)
The size of the front section is optional depending on which species you are wanting to attract.
- Low front attracts species like the Spotted Flycatcher- 6cm high
- Medium front attracts species like the Robin- 10cm high
- High front attracts species like the Wren- 14cm high
3) Assemble! If you’re using hardwood like we did, then you will need to use a drill and screws and create pilot holes but if you’re using softwood like pine then you can use nails and a hammer. See attached pdf to see how it all fits together.
Important things to note:
- Drill pilot holes before drilling in any screws to prevent the wood splitting
- Make sure you use rust-proof screws
- The bottom should fit inside all 4 walls