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FLIGHTPATH S


Many thanks to Lucy Flower for the use of this spectacular photograph


16 | Hemel Hempstead Living


Clare Swatman tells you where to see birds locally and how to coax them into your garden


pring is definitely the time to see birds in Dacorum. For one thing, it’s warmer if you’re out walking, or sitting in a hide for hours; for another, you’re more likely to see


more varieties as migrants start to arrive. But you don’t always need to go out to see birds. If you give them a reason to come into your garden by putting out bird feeders and nest boxes, they will reward you by coming back again and again. And if you get the bug, why not help protect them at some of the local conservation centres?


Box Moor Trust, Boxmoor


The Box Moor Trust looks after 480 acres from the waterways fringing Hemel Hempstead to the chalk hills and woodlands approaching Bovingdon. That variety of habitats means a great variety of species. Trust chairman David Kirk says: ‘Over the past five years we’ve been monitoring our birdlife and the news is more and more positive.’ Time spent on the Trust’s lands will usually be rewarded, and there’s the potential bonus of occasional exotic visitors. ‘The old brickworks site at Bovingdon is attracting warblers and cuckoos, and even a turtle dove has been seen up there,’ says David. ‘We had a pair of barn owls for most of last summer – a first in my experience – and a marsh harrier blown here by a storm. And we’ve had at least three pairs of kingfishers along our stretch of the river and canal.’ The Trust is also the venue for the local Hemel Hempstead RSPB youth groups. Meetings are held on the third Saturday of every month. The groups are: Mini Wildlife Explorers – 4-8yrs, 1.30-2.30pm Wildlife Explorers Group – 8-11yrs, 10am-12.30pm


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