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Sand Martin Bank Success

Monday, 6th July 2015 — posted in News

Green Future Building installed four Sand Martin nesting banks at Alston Reservoir near Longridge East Lancashire in December 2013.

The site is owned and operated by United Utilities and managed for wildlife in partnership with the RSPB. Nesting cabinets designed and built by GFB create the ideal home for the returning Sand Martins, a smaller cousin of the familiar swallow. The units are built using sustainable eco materials such has recycled plastic board and incorporate a growing roof.

A large proportion of the sand filled nesting tubes and chambers have now been excavated and all four of the nesting banks were each being used by several pairs in May 2014.

We are now hoping for a fine warm summer providing an abundance of flying insects over the water, food for the martins and their fast growing nestlings.

If conditions remain good all summer each pair could produce up to three broods and fifteen or more youngsters before they all depart in the early autumn to their wintering areas in Africa.

Two secure lockable doors at the rear of each cabinet will allow the local ringing group to access the individual nesting chambers to monitor the progress and put small metal rings on the legs of young birds. In years to come this will give an insight into these little birds lives and the incredible journeys they undertake and indicate how many are surviving and returning to nest.

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