B&Q launch bird box campaign as DIYers fill sparrows' crevices

Home improvement is threatening the future of British sparrows, causing population declines of up to 68 per cent since 1977 according to figures from the British Trust of Ornithology and B&Q.

B&Q, is calling on the nation to erect boxes in their gardens and has hired artist  duo and bird box enthusiasts, Richard Dawson and Jacqui Symons, as the first ever ‘Heads of Bird Abodes’.

The sparrow has come under threat due to diminished nesting options. British sparrows prefer to nest in crevices within buildings; but in an effort to retain heat and save energy, crevices are increasingly being filled and repaired by consumers. 

Roofing maintenance, loft insulation and building renovations are unknowingly reducing the number of nesting options for birds.

Experts from the British Trust of Ornithology advise that sparrows will take to bird boxes if their usual nest options are not available, but new OnePoll research commissioned by B&Q shows that 57 per cent of the UK don’t have a box in their garden. In light of the impact of our home improvement  habits and just how few people have bird boxes, B&Q has brought on Richard Dawson and Jacqui Symons as its ‘Heads of Bird Abodes’ to inspire the nation in an effort to save the sparrows.

The artists have worked with the community to create 100 bird boxes as part of an art engagement project for Gallery Oldham. The pair are now lending their expertise in B&Q’s campaign.

B&Q seasonal director Stephen Pitcher said: "As we strive to keep our homes warm and our energy bills down, the nation’s sparrows are being left out in the cold. As the UK’s biggest home improvement and garden retailer we felt it was our responsibility to remind people of the importance of having a bird box in their garden. Making a box from scratch is quite straight forward and has great environmental benefits; it would make for a creative and educational project for all the family this half term. Simply add some sparrow-friendly bird feed when you’re done and watch your feathered friends flock in."

Richard Dawson and Jacqui Symons said: "Britain is a nation of bird lovers and it is vital that we come together to help reverse the declining sparrow population, but we are committed to doing so with a bit of flair! Creative bird boxes are a shared passion of ours; after all, we spend so much time making our home homes look great, why not do the same for our beloved birds?"

A British Trust of Ornithology representative said: ‘Our beloved house sparrow is under threat especially across the South East where we’ve seen a shocking 33 per cent decline and a massive 72 per cent decline in London. When making bird boxes for sparrows it’s important to note that the nest box will need a 32mm entrance hole, and while you're at it make two or three boxes, house sparrows like to nest in small colonies when they can."

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