Impress the Chess Creates New Homes for Birds

The volunteer team and sponsors at Meades Water Gardens

Above: Chiltern Society volunteers and bird box sponsors in Meades Water Gardens

Chesham bird lovers participated in National Bird Box Week with help from Impress the Chess and the Chiltern Society.  Local residents sponsored bird boxes along the River Chess, to provide nesting opportunities for species including blue tits, great tits and robins.

On Monday 20th February, ten sponsored boxes were installed by Chiltern Society volunteers in Meades Water Gardens off Red Lion Street to give the small bird population a helping hand. The boxes will be monitored by the Chiltern Society as the bird breeding season progresses, to see if the boxes are being used. There was such a positive response by people to the sponsorship scheme, that it is hoped to identify further sites in Chesham for putting up more boxes.

This project was initiated by the Impress the Chess group as the first of a series of improvements to habitats along the River Chess. Impress the Chess is a Town Council-led partnership of local authorities, conservation bodies and community groups that works to protect and restore the River Chess in Chesham. The partnership has created an Action Plan to help conserve this rare chalk stream environment and is actively working with landowners and volunteers on schemes like this. The next project in the pipeline is the installation of ‘dog steps’ in Canons Wood along The Moor to protect the riverbank, whilst enabling dogs to have easy access into and out of the river at this dog-walking hotspot.

Bird box installation

Impress the Chess is very grateful to the Chiltern Society for its bird box expertise and manpower, having already run a similar scheme in Captains Wood. The Chiltern Society is the only charity dedicated to conserving the whole of the Chilterns landscape, with the support of 7,000 members. Having been in existence for more than 50 years, the Chiltern Society has a strong team of 500 volunteers who not only work on their own reserves, but also help to conserve local authority sites, such as Meades Water Gardens.

The volunteers were pleased to be working in the early Spring sunshine and were watched by a number of birds as well as interested passersby, so Impress the Chess is very hopeful that the bird boxes will soon be investigated by birds look for an ideal nesting spot!


Published: 20 February 2017