In many ways our children are having a raw deal in the modern world and I am particularly concerned about their alienation from the all important world of nature.
Three years ago I decided to make a small difference by forming the Children and Nature Fund
(CAN), under the auspices of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, to encourage children to understand and enjoy the wildlife which is all around them.
As a new CAN project, my neighbour, Tony Moore and I decided to help the birds on Thwaite Common with a plan involving local children. A total of 27 boxes were provided in kit form by Tony to be assembled and decorated by the children and put up in likely places all over the Common in time for last spring’s breeding season. Of course we had no idea how many boxes, if any, would be taken but the results were astonishing. Almost 80% showed signs of occupation by blue and great tits, from nest making, egg laying, incubation and fledging and including one box occupied by a nest of hornets! Even better, the children were able to keep an eye on their progress (and failures) during the season.
Well, another spring will soon be with us and I want to encourage more villages and communities in Norfolk to take up the idea. If Thwaite Common can do it, how about your patch?
Header image: Blue tit fledglings, by Richard Alan Woodhouse