Developed by Stephen Whitehead
The following workshops can all be run independently from one another and as out of school activities or in class as part of the curriculum.
Constructed from plastic strapping, chicken wire or other semi-rigid scrap materials, the 'cage/basket is insulated with torn scrap fabrics attached with a simple thumb nut and is suitable for almost any age. The roosts can be sited in dense hedgerow or tied to semi sheltered areas suitable for small birds to roost in.
(Discussions on habitat requirements, warmth/energy consumption and insulation/wind-chill.)
Bird nest materials dispencer
Design and build a container for nest building materials to be hung prominently for birds to access. (Practically dog hair is the easiest to find and clean and can be added by workshop leader at the end of the activity if any participant has an allergy.)
'Built from scratch' or pre-cut flatpack untreated, reclaimed wood there are 5 basic types of bird box and 2 types of bat box, (each designed for a different species). Workshop includes the camouflaging of boxes to increase their security for future inhabitants.
(Discussions of shelter, hiding from predators, differing species requirements.)
A fully edible, decorative gift to birds, given with the promise to continue to feed them in same area every day over winter. Based on idea of mandalas as meditative acts of contemplation that are transitory, a decoration is made with coloured seeds and coconut fat as 'glue'. Item can then be stored in freezer to be given as seasonal gift as cold weather starts. N.b. ingredients are suitable to used by all religious traditions and gift could be given to coincide with major religious festivals late in year.
(The activity gives a chance for slow careful and mindful work.)
Bug hibernation houses
Using garden and woodland litter hibernation units/houses.
Can be designed and made for specific types of insect.
Externally they can be fanciful and decorative but internally have structure that provides suitable shelter for bugs.
As above but using a strong wooden framework and clay skin, a palace can be built with intricate architecture and decoration. (Ideal as a centrepiece for a wildlife area, allotment, or in a garden.)