Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders
In urban areas it can be difficult to find even the smallest piece of land where nature can be encouraged to thrive. The concrete jungle is not conducive to our native species meaning that gardens can be their only refuge. Some local authorities do make attempts to address this issue though and thankfully one of them is mine!
A parcel of land in Sandhurst, Berkshire which sits between a railway track and a main road has been left undeveloped. This has created a modest nature reserve amidst several housing developments. Shepherd Meadows is an oasis of peace (except when a train passes!) in which it is possible to see a surprising array of wildlife. It provides the perfect place for locals to walk their dogs and for me to run!
The Blackwater River runs through the meadows and is home to several ducks, coots and swans. Where the nature reserve meets the Sandhurst Memorial Park, the river runs into a pleasant lake which is a haven for the birds and many species of insects.
A walk or run through the meadows often provides sightings of squirrels. On several occasions I have also turned a corner on the path which winds through the meadows to find a crane or heron surveying the scene. There are always numerous birds singing in the trees and providing a soundtrack which is the perfect foil to the distant road noise.
It is possible to fish the river although the specimens appear to be very small and the banks are lined by fabulous brambles from which I forage delicious blackberries in September.
I enjoy spending time in the Meadows which are also home to a small herd of cattle which can occasionally be found blocking the footpath. I am sure that visits at dusk would also deliver sightings of foxes as they are often to be seen in the local gardens.
Squirrel Proof Bird feeders and nesting Boxes
I am a little surprised that neither the local residents nor the council have added s or feeders to the reserve. Any feeders would have to be squirrel proof bird feeders as there are plenty of grey squirrels about. The bird feeders would be useful additions and would encourage more species to visit the meadows. I rarely see any birds other than sparrows and blackbirds. If more colourful varieties were to arrive it would be a glorious sight.
I am also perplexed as to how few people actually visit Shepherd Meadows, especially in the winter months. It is possible to walk two miles or more without seeing a single person. We are fortunate to have this pretty place in a suburban area and I fear that if people do not use it then it will eventually become the location of another housing estate. Gardens in the area are generally small and so this slice of the great outdoors is important for wildlife and the wellbeing of the local people.
I really must make enquiries about those bird feeders. Rather than questioning why someone else hasn’t provided them, maybe I should deal with the issue myself!