Biodiversity bird boxes hope to attract sparrows and robins

There was high altitude activity in the Cashel Palace garden last week as senior pupils from Scoil Aonghusa were on hand to see their bird boxes placed in the trees in the historic garden.

There was high altitude activity in the Cashel Palace garden last week as senior pupils from Scoil Aonghusa were on hand to see their bird boxes placed in the trees in the historic garden.

Sean Laffey was up a ladder with a camouflaged nest box and a power drill when we encountered the crew as they did their bit to enhance the biodiversity of the town. Paddy Downey and Joe Currivan were there too from the Cashel Tidy towns, holding the ladder and making sure things went smoothly and safely.

Sean explained that the nest boxes were made by the students of Cashel’s Scoil Aonghusa from material kindly sponsored by South Tipperary County Council.

“It’s part of a spring programme of biodiversity projects,” said Sean of Cashel’s Biodiversity Group, and he went on to explain that “now is the best time of year to put up birdboxes, just before the nesting season starts, but with our warmer than expected winter we may have missed the boat for the early spring nesters. The children made three types of boxes, for blue tits, sparrows and robins, so there is a chance that one or two of the boxes will be occupied in the first season.”

When asked why the camouflage? Sean told us that it might just fool the squirrels that have been seen in the Cashel Palace grounds, and more importantly it might help the boxes stay hidden from curious humans.

“We’d like as little disturbance of the boxes as possible, but these are gardens which many visitors enjoy so there’s a balance to be struck and we were delighted when the hotel’s owner, Pat Murphy, allowed us into the grounds to get this project underway.”

Sean also explained that there will be more events from the Biodiversity Group as the year progresses. “With this kind of thing what you have to do is time events to fit in with nature’s calendar and our priority over the next two weeks will be putting up some 20 or so nest boxes which the children have made. Then we have an exciting project at the soccer field, where we will be taking a small section of the car park and making it into a butterfly garden.”

Sean said that “anyone who would like to get involved, should look out for notices in this paper. We are always happy to welcome volunteers, and if you’d like a taste of what we do give me a call or text on 0879821916 and come along and join in.”