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How can I make an old bus shelter wildlife-friendly?

Sent in by Malcolm Parker, Derbyshire

Malcolm said: 'I have an old concrete/brick bus shelter on farmland in derbyshire, previously used as a sheep shelter. Have you any suggestions for making it wild-life friendly by installing bird boxes (which?) and plants to grow over it which could be used by birds as nesting/roosting sites. It is about 15' x 10' x 8' with an orchard on one side and fields on the other. Is it too small or low to attract owls or birds of prey?'

It's a great idea to convert the shelter to a wildlife haven. While I think it would be a little too low for owls or birds of prey to use it, the inside would be ideal for swallows. By placing a number of ledges or swallow nesting cups close to the ceiling, you could encourage several pairs to nest.

If you have house sparrows or tree sparrows in the area, putting nestboxes for them on the outside on north or east-facing sides could provide these red-listed birds much needed nesting sites.

By growing plants over it, you would cater for a wide range of species that like to nest in thickets, such as blackbirds, song thrushes, wrens, robins and warblers. Choose from plants like wild honeysuckle, wild clematis (Clematis montana), ivy and dog rose, which all have high wildlife value.

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