Blue Flower

On 19 November 2021 at a site visit we were presented with a cheque for a Green Community Grant from Breckland Council for our project which covers Wildlife, Cycling, Renewable Energy, Recycle & Re-Use. 

Wildlife: We have nest boxes for various birds including kingfisher tunnels; boxes for butterflies, Hedgehogs, Dormice and Lizards; bird table, feeders and birdfood; and a nest box camera system. Most items have now been installed. Bats roost in the tunnels which have collapsed, these will be repaired and bat boxes will be put up in trees. We made a wildlife habitat from re-used materials and fallen trees which we regularly clear from the footpath. Many At Risk wildlife species will be helped.

Cycling: We have a cycle rack, pumps, puncture repair kits and tools to help cyclists and encourage cycling to the mill. We regularly see cyclists and we had several at our open days when the bike rack was used. We have a log splitter and battery chainsaw which allows volunteers to cycle to the mill as they don't need to bring these tools from home.

Renewable Energy: Solar panels will power: Multimedia screens; illuminated display shelves; fridge for keeping milk and drinks cool; USB sockets for charging visitors phones; nest box cameras; inverter for charging tools. The log store, log splitter and battery chainsaw provide logs for our stove and habitat piles from fallen trees and branches. Multimedia screens show videos of the water wheel turning and slideshows of our model mill, as these features are only available on open days, so visitors at all other times can see the videos. On open days the screens will show the restoration and history of the mill.

Recycle & Re-Use: There are recycle bins which are put around the site on open days as we only had dustbins before; an additional water butt for watering the garden and cleaning finds; we made a compost bay from old pallets for garden waste and grass cuttings; wildlife habitat which we made from re-used & natural materials; collapsed tunnels will be repaired with re-used bricks for bats to roost; water based wood treatment enables re-use of old outdoor furniture.

Work Started on 9/12/21 when a compost bay was made and on 16/12/21 we made a wildlife habitat, both made from re-used materials. We put signs up on site about the project to show visitors what we are doing. On 20/1/22 the log store and battery chainsaw were taken to site and assembled, we cut up branches to put in the log store. The chainsaw is stored securely and taken with us to deal with any fallen branches on our way to the mill, we already used it to clear the public footpath, as a large tree fell and completely blocked it on 24/2/22. Also bought were bird seed feeders and a variety of bird food, now safely stored in sealed tubs, a cycle foot pump which was used to inflate a flat wheelbarrow tyre, a rechargeable screwdriver which gets plenty of use, nest boxes (some with 3 front options) and butterfly houses which were put up on 3/2/22 and wood treatment which was used to protect the outside table. The log splitter and bird feeding station were taken to the mill and assembled on 21/4/22 when we also fitted a display screen to the visitor centre wall. More butterfly houses and all Dormouse boxes were also put up around the site. In early May I assembled the display shelves and fitted underlights, and fixed the cycle rack in the ground, we now have all the cycle pumps, puncture repair kits and tools. Fred has fitted the tall nest box with camera inside the shed with a hole through the wall into it. The compost bay has been used for all the weeds we pulled up recently. On 14/5/22 we took the new water butt and bird table to the mill. 

Owl and Kestrel boxes were taken to the mill on 12/2/22, we modified the Barn Owl box by raising the shelf, so any chicks that fall out can crawl back inside, we fitted a camera and put it in a tree on 3/3/22 along with a nest box with camera for small birds. On 10/3/22 camera cables on the tree were run in mini trunking (painted brown) to protect them from strimming and laid in a trench to the railway wagon, connected and tested. Grey Wagtail boxes were put on the river wall on 21/4/22 and Kingfisher tunnels for the bank have now arrived, we received guidance from Allan of NarVOS about these items. We had plenty of bird nest boxes in place by 14/2/22 which was BTO National Nest Box Week. The specialist nest boxes in this project compliment the boxes for small birds made by Dennis in 2016 which are still very much in use. The Little Owl box was put in a tree on 17/3/22 and another nest box for small birds had a camera fitted, we used the new pack of screws and Allen keys from the cycle repair toolkit for both these jobs. Latest news is that Jackdaws have taken over the Barn Owl box and Great Tits are in the nearby nest box with camera.

PurchasesSwaffham Men’s Shed made Owl and Kestrel boxes and a bird table. Dennis of Narborough Museum made Sparrow and Dove boxes which we put up on 10/2/22, he will also make Hedgehog boxes, Dennis uses reclaimed wood for all boxes. Our log store was made by a Wisbech company and the many items ordered from Amazon Smile will support animal charities.

Graham Bartlett         Interactive Plan      Site Activity      Wildflower Meadow    Volunteer    Blog 19/11/21 

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 Blog 19/11/21