May 25, 2023
Best nest boxes for your garden
Help support the local wildlife by providing safe nest boxes for the birds in
Help support the local wildlife by providing safe nest boxes for the birds in your garden.
At a time when bird habitats are disappearing, it's more important than ever we create safe homes for the wildlife visiting our gardens. From 14th-20th February this year, the UK celebrates National Nest Box Week, the perfect opportunity to help build up British bird populations. And with breeding season fast approaching, there's no better time to invest in one or two new nest boxes for your garden.
If you’re to create a safe and comfortable habitat for your visitors, you’ll need to make sure you plump for a high-quality design. So, here are a few of our favourites on the market to get you started.
Tom Chambers sells a range of highly reviewed nest boxes, including a rookery, robin house and a birch nester, but we’ve selected the brand's Snuggler Box for our list. With its 32mm entry hole, it's designed specifically for a range of different garden birds, including tree sparrows – a species that has dramatically declined in the past 30 years.
This nester is also a high-quality option, as it's made by hand from FSC-certified wood. Plus, keeping it habitable and hygienic should be easy, thanks to its front panel, which lifts away for simple, hassle-free cleaning.
Taking the shape of an acorn, this smart bird box makes a charming addition to any outdoor space. with a diameter of 32mm, it's perfect for nesting nuthatches and house sparrows.
As a sustainable option, the wooden element of this birdhouse is crafted from FSC-approved timber.
Lightweight and easy to install, this nester is a popular choice. It's made from steel, rattan and brushwood for an authentic and durable finish. Just use the coiled wire to fix it somewhere safe.
The clever design features a low dividing wall between the nesting area and the more exposed landing platform. A nester like this should attract species like robins, tits, wrens and finches.
Find out where to place your nest box in our guide to National Nestbox Week.
As an added bonus, it should blend in nicely with hedges and other foliage in your garden.
‘Woodstone’ nest boxes are another fantastic option. As an alternative to traditional wooden structures, they’re made from a tough mix of concrete, clay and sawdust, which will stand up to the toughest weather conditions and predators such as woodpeckers, cats and squirrels. Manufacturers claim that they maintain a more consistent temperature inside, which is a bonus for the survival chances of wildlife.
They also provide a rot-free environment for your garden birds.
Once in place, expect the nest box to attract small garden birds, such as sparrows, nuthatches and pied flycatchers.
This ‘build-your-own’ kit provides not only a safe haven for garden birds, but also a fun activity for anyone who enjoys a quick craft project. Inside the pack, you’ll find pre-cut wooden sections made from FSC-certified timber, which you connect up with nails and screws to create your very own bird box.
Everything you need is there, including a hanger to secure your nester in place and start attracting great tits, sparrows and pied flycatchers.
If you live near woodland, consider installing a nest box for large birds. This one is for tawny owls, which need slightly less space than barn owls. As for construction, it's made from FSC-approved wood and comes complete with a hatch to make cleaning fuss-free.
This bird box also has a long perch for the owls, which you can remove if you prefer.
When putting the owl nester in place, be sure to attach it to a mature tree near woodland or hedges. Ideally, face it east, north-east or south-east to protect the owls from the prevailing wind.
Swifts spend most of their time up in the skies but they need a safe place to rest every now and then. By putting this special nesting box in a sheltered area, you can support swifts near your home.
FSC-certified pinewood makes up the majority of this nester, which features a door at one end. And the zinc roof gives it a high-quality finish, which should keep it looking smart in your garden for years to come.
Or, consider making your own?
Find out more in our guide to swifts: where to see and how to help swifts in your garden.
For more advice on supporting local wildlife this year, take a look at our run-down of the top DIY bird feeder kits available to buy online.
Drawing on a love of gardening and countryside walks, Alice works across Countryfile and Gardens Illustrated magazines to find and review the very best products for life in the great outdoors.
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