Off we went, along the canal, a strange group to anyone who passed, carrying ladders and a large box. The kids keen to help carry something. My Dad came too.
A right turn off the canal into Danes Moss, a nature reserve and SSSI. I grew up in Macclesfield, but I have never been here before.
Over the railway bridge we went, carrying our ladders and the big brown box.
Into the woods and over another bridge.
Over the walkway across the marsh, to the furthest corner…
Where we found a tree, far enough away from the footpath but with a great view over the marsh. The perfect home for a barn owl. The barn owl box was heavy, so the kids helped by holding it by a rope, while the box was fixed to the tree.
G brought along the front of the box.
The front was screwed in place.
And we took a moment to have a photo in front of the new house!
Before walking into the woods, glancing back and making a wish that some barn owls nest here soon. It’s the perfect secluded spot with a great vantage point.
‘How did you come to be putting up an owl box?’ I hear you ask.
Last Sunday I woke with a head full of owls. I was lying in the grass, the dawn was rising, the kids were with me and they were swooping above us. Beautiful barn owls.
A special dream to start a special day.
A few weeks ago I wrote about donating to the Macclesfield branch of the RSPB, my Dad is a volunteer and I hear so many stories of all the great work they do. I have a soft spot for barn owls since seeing them in Norfolk with Mum and Dad, when L was a baby, so I decided I would donate the cost of an owl box. It seemed a good way to remember Mum too.
I was really touched when a few weeks later Macclesfield RSPB invited us to join them at a nest box making event, and to go with some of the volunteers to put up the owl box. I was hoping to hear the box had gone up, but had no idea I would get to be part of actually putting it up. It was a really wonderful thing to do.
We even got to help put an owl box together. The group had saved the last jobs for us to help with, again, what a fantastic group they are.
Macclesfield RSPB do so much to help local bird and wildlife and to educate people about birds. This is the second event we have been to, WOW was another amazing event. Ahead of putting the bird box up we also got to make bird boxes outside a DIY shop on the retail park. It was popular with lots of shoppers. Here is Dad helping L make a box.
Look at the pile of bird boxes that were made! Having seen how much effort goes into putting up one owl box, I know this the actual construction is just the middle of an amazing project to make more homes for birds. The local ranger took some of them and Dad has been updating me on the rest of the boxes. What a wonderful group of volunteers, we were made so welcome and the children were given such brilliant opportunities too, the group’s Young Explorer programme sounds excellent, I wish we lived nearer!
Thanks for having us Macclesfield RSPB and we have everything crossed for lots of happy birds and barn owls nesting in these boxes! Find out more about Macclesfield RSPB for adults and children, for the RSPB family membership or great ideas to attract and look after birds in your garden or outdoor space, go here.
Update – 21st March 2016 – Dad just called to say there is a tawny owl in it!
Update – 13th March 2017 – Dad just called to say there is a barn owl in the box. Here’s hoping it is nested and we can go and meet it when the owl gets ringed!