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Birds and Bugs

A healthy insect and bird population is important for our farming practices. In 2022 Heathpatch started a 5-year programme of putting up more owl boxes and are aiming for an additional 30 by 2026.  We also ring the baby owls in the nest boxes giving each a unique ID number. They are then registered with the The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) which helps us and the BTO build a detailed picture of Barn Owl population in the area. 

According to the BTO, Swifts have had a significant decline in population and are currently red listed under the UK Bird of Conservation Concern. To support their return our team installed 12 swift boxes and call systems around the farm in 2023. 

Our subsidiary company, Material Change Limited, have also set up bee and bug hotels, as well as bird boxes, at all the Anaerobic Digestion sites. Most of the boxes have now produced their first Blue Tit fledglings.

Wildflower blooms have been planted at Helmdon and Rainworth and there is a pretty wildflower garden at Oak Grove AD, which the bees and pollinators love. During August 2022, Material Change also participated in a wildflower harvesting webinar hosted by the Eden Project and collected its first batch of cornflower seeds.

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