The new GLAS grant scheme has been rolled out across the country and allows farmers to avail to grants if they par-take in a number of conservation schemes on their land. The aim of GLAS is to preserve and promote ‘Green practices’ & encourage bird & wildlife numbers.
There are several parts to the scheme but one simple way to avail of the grant and help our native birds is to position bird houses around your farm land. The scheme requires farmers to erect 15 bird houses to provide habitat for our wild birds. A grant of 285€ can be achieved by doing this.
With farms undertaking this scheme and each adding 15 bird houses to their land, the variety and number of habitats available to our wild birds will increase significantly. This will mean that endangered birds such as the Twite, Linnet, Skylark, Yellowhammer will stand a better chance of survival
Really, bird houses can be placed at any point of the farm. Any tall tree would be most suitable as this will provide a safe place for the birds to rest. Bird houses should be kept up high away for feline predators, they should be set in amongst the branches of trees to provide further shelter and security
To ensure birds get the best use out of the nesting boxes or bird houses that you hang, place them a safe distance apart. Ideally space them 2 to 3 metres apart and try and orientate them so that two entrances are not facing each other. Setting up your bird houses in spring generally is best, this is so that your bird houses are in place before birds get out and build their own nests for the year. So, instead of building their own nest, the birds will use the nesting boxes instead
If you want to get the best use of of your bird house you could add a nest box camera. There are loads available on the market and all vary in quality. Some things to look out for when buying a nest box camera is the range of the camera & power source. Ideally you want a long range & battery powered camera so that you can leave it in a tree far from the home, but view the action from the comfort out your home