Giant ‘sandcastle’ built as home for returning sand martins

Conservationists reach for their buckets and spades in a bid to encourage hundreds of the migratory birds to make their homes at Spynes Mere, Andy Gregory reports

Saturday 27 March 2021 12:57
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New efforts are being made to boost sand martin numbers in southern England
New efforts are being made to boost sand martin numbers in southern England

It is hoped that hundreds of sand martins could soon nest at a Surrey nature reserve for the first time in 25 years, after conservationists created a vast 400-ton “sandcastle” to entice them.

The tiny birds typically visit the wetlands in Nutfield Marshes between March and September, after migrating thousands of miles from sub-Saharan Africa.

But the summer visitors have not nested there for a quarter of a century, and conservationists warn that their natural inland nesting sites in the UK have decreased in recent years.

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