Conservation: Our bug, bee, bat and bird boxes
Written by: Hamish
Published: 31st March 2016
Providing habitats for wildlife on the reserve is vital to the conservation efforts, we initially started this process after purchasing the land however as many boxes were getting old, we have now been working towards replacing the existing boxes and also adding more to provide additional homes, attracting more wildlife to the land.
Why do we need habitat boxes?
Birds and bats build their homes in the hollows of old, living or dead trees, unfortunately the current woodland trees on the reserve are too young to have these essential hollows, limiting the potential habitats on the land. As the birds, bats and bees are such a key part of trying to improve and conserve the land we began to set up habitat boxes.
The boxes are created locally by a carpenter, and fitted to trees throughout the reserve providing the perfect hollow environment for bats and bees. We’re still adding boxes throughout the reserve as we see the demand for the wildlife.
Bees are one of the most important species in the world, despite this numbers have been decreasing with 1 in 10 wild bees facing extinction. It’s vital to do everything we can to help! Since 2014 we have been adding beehives to the reserve, we now have several throughout with plans to add more. If you want to find out more about beekeeping, take a look at our interview with beekeeper Tim Rowe.
The next big project on the reserve is to plant lots of Scottish wildflowers, which as well as increasing the biodiversity of the land will help support the bees, offering new sources of pollen.
One of the big projects for the reserve recently was clearing test areas of Sitka trees before our main harvest, the timber and chipped branches from this has been used to create ‘Bug Hotels’. These are ideal environments for bugs to nest in and we’re expecting to see lots of new bugs moving in soon. If you’re visiting the reserve you will see three bug hotels at the loch and a number of others placed throughout the reserve.
Increasing the habitats for insects is vital for the food chain and strengthens the conservation efforts of the land, with plenty of food sources now available for birds and bats.
Our new boxes and bug hotels went up around a month ago and we will keep you updated on their progress. If you want to get involved with our habitat boxes you can sponsor a habitat box here.