London’s most common garden birds are evaporating from our outdoor spaces as research reveals that starlings, blackbirds, blue tits and house sparrows have vanished from the capital’s gardens over the past 12 years.
East Village, the former London 2012 Athletes’ Village and green haven in the middle of one of the world’s largest cities, in partnership with the RSPB, is bringing awareness to these findings to reinforce arguments that we need to do more to give nature a home.
To encourage birds back to the city, East Village, home to rare black Redstarts, has enlisted local east London carpenter Pete Bagg to create a number of unique bird boxes in the form of the London Skyline; from historic buildings such as the Houses of Parliament to E20’s very own ArcelorMittal Orbit and Lee Valley Velodrome.
Neil Young, CEO of Get Living London which rents and manages homes at East Village, said: “As one of London’s greenest neighbourhoods with a great emphasis on eco-living, East Village has invested heavily to encourage as much wildlife as possible. Whether it be through the ‘living roofs’ on each apartment building, the 3,000 newly planted trees in 2011 or the 25 acres of green open space in the neighbourhood, we have worked hard to make East Village a great eco-friendly place to live. With the six acre Wetlands - a great habitat for native biodiversity - we are in a strong position to partner with the RSPB to create these unique bird boxes to help encourage even more birds into the neighbourhood.”
The quirky bird boxes will go on show outside Get Living London’s East Village office from 26th May and will then be placed in various green spaces around London’s newest neighbourhood the following month for birds to make their home throughout the nesting period and beyond.
The scheme has been introduced during the dawn chorus months as a call to action for the nation to play their part to encourage birdlife wherever they live in the UK.
Tim Webb of the RSPB said: “The number of birds in our capital and in cities across the country, has decreased hugely as we become increasingly urbanised so it’s great to see a neighbourhood like East Village directly addressing the issue, as well as raising the awareness of the problem to the rest of the nation. East Village is already a great habitat for birds, especially with the Wetlands Centre so close by, so we expect the new bird boxes to be very popular with different species, especially house sparrows and blue tits, encouraging more into the neighbourhood.”
Ten iconic nest boxes have been created in total to be displayed in East Village:
- Buckingham Palace
- Tower of London
- ArcelorMittal Orbit
- BT Tower
- Tower Bridge
- The Gherkin
- Big Ben
- Battersea Power Station
- Lee Valley Velodrome
- Canary Wharf
The full collection will be available to view outside the Get Living London offices at East Village E20 for the next month before each box is moved to its permanent home at green locations around the area. A donation is also being made to Rainham Marshes.