Boxing clever for birds

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The Independent Online
Nest boxes could soon be appearing on mobile telephone masts as ornithologists bid to boost Britain's dwindling bird population.

Launching its first "National Nest Box Week", the British Trust for Ornithology wants businesses and schools - as well as houseowners - to install places were birds can nest. It says modern farming and countryside management has left them with a serious shortage of natural holes to creep into. Trust director Jeremy Greenwood explained: "There are fewer hedgerows, trees are not allowed to get old and rot any more. If we don't find new holes for birds to nest in there will be many fewer of them - it's as simple as that. The answer is nest boxes."

The phone firm Cellnet is one of the companies that has agreed to help by putting boxes on transmission masts. British Sugar has also agreed to put boxes at its production sites.