Town Ranger Bob Garner holding two bird boxes

Bird and Bat Boxes Installed

After opening a (bug) hotel last year Knutsford Town Council is now offering seasonal lodgings for birds and bats after installing 21 bird and bat boxes on its open spaces as part of its Nature Action Plan.

Boxes were installed on mature trees at the cemetery, Higher Town Green, Wallwood and the Obelisk green, the four open spaces which are managed by the town council.

The boxes were all made by the council’s Planning and Facilities Officer, Bob Allen, who volunteered his time to create them with his son. Bob’s role includes coordinating the work of the council’s Nature Action Plan and he is currently preparing plans for the council’s first major tree planting scheme in March.

Bob created a number of bat boxes and a range of bird boxes tailored for the demands of some of our most common feathered friends – great tits, sparrows, blue tits and robins.

Bob said, “I enjoyed making the boxes with some help from my son Edward and it is rewarding to see them up on our open spaces.”

“The next stage of our Nature Action Plan is to commence our ambitious tree planting programme and we hope to share details of the areas we’ll be covering this year very soon”

The boxes were installed by Knutsford’s Town Ranger, Bob Garner who will ensure they are cleared out each year to encourage new visitors the following season.

The Knutsford Nature Action Plan was adopted in March 2020 as part of the council’s commitment to tackling climate change and improving the town’s biodiversity and natural habitats. You can find out more about what Knutsford Town Council is doing for nature as part of the Nature Action Plan at www.kntusfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/natureactionplan

Kevin Griffiths and Malcolm Thomas Measure a Tree

Help map Knutsford’s trees

Volunteers are sought to help map every tree on public land in Knutsford.

The tree mapping project is part of the Town Council’s Nature Action Plan and will see a record made of the species and location of each tree to help create plans to ensure the town retains its sylvan character.

The project is being led by volunteers Malcolm Thomas and Kevin Griffiths who came up with the idea and volunteers will be given an area to survey with guidance on how to identify the different tree species. Volunteers will then attach a metal tag to the tree and log it using their smart phone.

“Malcolm and Kevin’s preliminary work suggests there are over 8,000 mature trees in Knutsford around half of which are in private gardens; the other half are on public spaces and this project will help ensure their long-term protection to keep Knutsford a town amongst the trees” Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green said.

The tree mapping project will be followed by the Town Council setting out plans to see thousands more trees planted in Knutsford as part of its commitment to nature and the environment. Other projects include installing bird and bat boxes on council trees and sowing a wildflower meadow on the Barncroft.

Those interested in volunteering to help map trees can contact the Town Council on 01565 653 929 or email jill.webb@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Town Ranger with Bug Hotel in Wallwood

Bug Hotel Opens in Wallwood

A new hotel has opened in Knutsford Town Centre – Bob’s Bug Hotel is now accepting bookings!

The bug hotel can be found in Wallwood and was created by Town Ranger Bob Garner as part of the town council’s Nature Action Plan and will soon be followed by a sister hotel on Higher Town Green.

Bug hotels provide a safe hideaway for wildlife and are made with an assortment of recycled materials, they are popular as nest sites for insects and solitary bees.

The hotel accommodation has been started off by Bob with space left for families to take part and complete. Families visiting the town centre can bring an assortment of materials to create a range of nooks, crannies, crevices, tunnels and cosy beds!

“I’ve filled one side with natural materials for our mini beasts’ stay but we need your help to fill it all. This is a great project for young people to spend some time with nature” said Bob.

Materials that can be used include pinecones, straw, bamboo canes, non-plastic tubes, old tiles and even cardboard. The key is to create a diverse and varied hotel with a range of habitats.

The Town Council adopted its Nature Action Plan in March, setting out three missions to increase the number of trees in Knutsford, improve biodiversity and connect green corridors and increase wildlife friendly planting. The council is currently planning a survey to map all trees in Knutsford and identifying locations where new trees, shrubs and wildflowers could be planted.