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, Recycling & Re-Use.

Wildlife: We will provide nest boxes for various birds; riverbank tunnel for kingfishers; boxes for butterflies, Hedgehogs, Dormice and Lizards; bird table, feeders and birdfood; nest box cameras with recorder and split screen display. Bats roost in the tunnels which have partially collapsed, these will be repaired and bat boxes will be put on buildings and trees. We will make wildlife habitat from re-used materials (now completed, see below) and fallen trees which we regularly clear from the footpath. Many At Risk species will be helped.

Cycling: There will be a cycle rack, pumps, puncture repair kits and cycle tools to help cyclists and encourage cycling to the mill. We regularly see cyclists on the Nar Valley Way opposite and we had several cyclists at our open days. The log splitter and chainsaw will allow volunteers to cycle to the mill as they will not need to bring tools from home.

Renewable Energy: Solar panel systems will power: Multimedia screens; illuminated shelves in our visitor centre to show items found; fridge for keeping milk and soft drinks cool in the wagon; USB sockets for charging visitors phones; nest box cameras; and an inverter for charging tools. The logstore, log splitter and battery chainsaw will provide logs for our stove and habitat piles. The multimedia screens will 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 multimedia versions. On open days the screens will have slideshows of the restoration and history of the mill, plus video clips from wildlife cameras.

Recycle & Re Use: There will be a set of recycle bins as we only have a dustbin at present; an additional water butt for watering the garden and cleaning finds; compost bay made from old pallets for garden waste and grass cuttings (now completed, see below); collapsed tunnels will be repaired with re-used bricks as bats roost in them; wood treatment will enable re-use of old outdoor furniture.

This Project will enrich the natural environment at the bone mill and provide more opportunities to see wildlife for walkers on the footpath and visitors to the mill. It will also encourage more environment friendly ways with visitors and volunteers. This page will be updated regularly as the project progresses. We hope to have most of the bird nest boxes in place by 14 February which is the start of BTO National Nest Box Week. The specialist nest boxes in this project will compliment the boxes for small birds made and put up by Dennis and Adam in 2016 which are still very much in use.

The First Phase started on 9/12/21 when a compost bay was made from old pallets and chicken wire, this will be used for all green waste to make compost for the gardens. We put a sign about the project on the back of the compost bay and one on the railway wagon to show visitors what we are doing. On 16/12/21 we made a wildlife habitat using the leftover pallet from the compost bay. We also bought the first bird feeders for the project, filled them with seed and put them up in the trees.

On 20/1/22 the log store was taken to site and assembled, as well as the chainsaw which was used to cut up some oversize logs, this will be stored securely and taken when we visit the mill so we can deal with any fallen branches on our way. Also bought with the grant and taken to the mill were a foot pump used to inflate a flat wheelbarrow tyre, a rechargeable screwdriver which got lots of use, nest boxes with 3 front options, small nest boxes, butterfly houses, all of which we will put up soon, and wood treatment for restoring the outside furniture.

Purchases: Instead of buying all our supplies from large organisations, we asked Swaffham Men’s Shed to make our Owl and Kestrel boxes as we saw bird boxes displayed at their Christmas Market stall. Dennis of Narborough Museum, who also have a Men’s Shed has agreed to make some bird and hedgehog nest boxes, these will be made from reclaimed wood. Our log store was made by a Wisbech company and all 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