Bungay welcomes falcon with new nest box

Seamus and Rory Clifford from Down to Earth landscaping with Bungay town councillor Olly Barnes (cen

Seamus and Rory Clifford from Down to Earth landscaping with Bungay town councillor Olly Barnes (centre) and the nest box. - Credit: Archant

Bungay's very own peregrine falcon has been given a comfy place to nest thanks to a six-month community project.

Bungay’s female peregrine falcon sitting on the church.

Bungay’s female peregrine falcon sitting on the church. - Credit: Archant

The female bird took up residence on St Mary's Church last year and despite residents initially thinking she was just passing through, the falcon has made her intentions to stay very clear.

A group of interested parties set about finding a location for a permanent nest box back in April, and the box has now been put in place on the southwest corner of the church.

Bungay town councillor Olly Barnes, who started the project during his time as mayor, said: 'It's taken the best part of six months and we are very pleased we've got it in place now.

'She's been here for about 18 months and it would be lovely if she found a mate this year.

Inside the falcon's nest box.

Inside the falcon's nest box. - Credit: Archant

'The box matches as close as possible to the flint work and masonry, so it fits in really well with the surrounding area.'

The project has been a collaboration between the council, the Friends of St Mary's and the Waveney Bird Club (WBC), which commissioned the box, along with help from the Churches Conservation Trust and Waveney District Council's conservation officer.

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Steve Piotrowski, president of WBC, said: 'We are ecstatic that everything has come together now and we are just hoping that the peregrine will like it, which I'm sure she will.

'If the peregrine does take up residence, we are looking to put CCTV in the box and connect it up to the church so people visit the church and see her in residence.

'We are hoping that will increase the number of visitors to the town and our peregrine will become quite an attraction.'

The box was manufactured by SOLD (Special Objectives for Local Disabled) at its workshop in Lowestoft. SOLD has made a significant proportion of the 1,800 barn owl nest boxes that have been installed in Suffolk and south Norfolk along with peregrine boxes in Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds.

The box was then painted by local artist Malcom Cudmore, to make it blend in with the historic lichen-clad structure of the church.

It was put in place with the help of Seamus and Rory Clifford, from Down to Earth landscaping, and fellow tree surgeon John Hollis.

'Everyone has been brilliant,' said Mr Barnes. 'It's been a big community effort.'

The box is held in place by a galvanized wire strap placed around the adjacent pinnacle, along with two padded brackets, and will be monitored by the group on a monthly basis.

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