Creature Feature Camera Fun

ncl+ nest box

Annette Morris, BA Hons Fine Art

The aim of the project was to take part in National Nest Box Week. We did this by building nest boxes for birds, mice and hedgehogs with the local children’s environmental holiday groups and then helping the children to install cameras in the boxes so that activity can be observed all year round. This would also help to recruit new members and encourage existing ones to come to our new venue.

We had a brilliant afternoon! The 5-8 year olds were busy from 1.00 to 3.00pm making bird nesting boxes, fixing the cameras into them, making bird feeders and tidying up the bird feeding station.  There were 22 children and 10 parents and grandparents as well as the regular volunteer leaders and we were all kept busy for the whole two hours. One of the best parts was testing the cameras as they all got to see themselves on the monitor.

I gained experience of preparing a funding application, attending a funding committee meeting and approaching organisations for match funding.  I also undertook detailed project planning and budget preparation.   I also gained bird, mouse and hedgehog box building skills, camera installation skills, camera and monitor operation skills and experience of preparing a press release and other publicity material.

Without the funding from ncl+ the project would not have happened. We are a small local community group run on a shoestring by volunteers and would not have been able to consider such an ambitious project.  The Careers Service and Students' Union helped greatly by making the process simple and unthreatening, by making useful suggestions for raising the other half of the funds, by being available to seek advice from if needed and by being friendly and approachable.