How much will be paid
£39 per box.
Where to use this item
Available for Mid Tier
- with options HS1 and HS8 in Mid Tier (can be used in other circumstances in Higher Tier)
- for tree sparrow (as a triple box) or for bats (these are the ‘target species’), unless RSPB or a Natural England bird specialist support its use for another species
- when the other year-round target species’ requirements (summer and winter foraging habitat) are being met on the holding or nearby
How this item will benefit the environment
It provides artificial nesting, roosting and hibernation sites for specific mammals and birds. This includes tree sparrow and targeted bat species.
Agreement holders will need to agree with Natural England a specification for the box. Each box should be sited in the agreed location and cleaned out in the autumn (October and November), unless hibernating or roosting bats are using it. Each box must be maintained in good condition, with any damage or losses made good during the agreement term.
Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:
- any consents or permissions connected with the work
- receipted invoices, or bank statements where a receipted invoice is unavailable
- the date that the nest boxes are cleaned out (unless used by bats or invertebrates)
- please see the record keeping and inspection requirements as set out in the Higher Tier manual for more detail
Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them with the claim:
- photographs of the completed work
Applicants will need to send the following with their application:
- photographs of the proposed site for the wildlife box
Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this item
The following section gives advice on carrying out this item successfully but does not form part of the requirements for this item.
Each box must be maintained in good condition, with any damage or losses made good during the agreement term.
Keep the box in its original location if it is being used. If it is not being used after year 3, ask Natural England for relocation advice. Boxes should be strapped to trees with wire and hose or rubber to prevent tree damage.
Boxes should be:
- in farm buildings or hedgerow trees, ideally near permanent water such as ponds or ditches
- away from bird feeders or places cats and squirrels can easily access, with a secure lid
- out of the midday sun
- weatherproof with small drainage holes in the floor
- made from wood at least 15mm thick with a 28mm entrance hole - follow the RSPB and British Trust for Ornithology guidance
Boxes should be:
- large enough for a maternity colony to cluster to conserve heat
- dry, rainproof and draught-free, with no gaps where the sides and top join
- entered by a slit at the base (front or back) no more than 15mm to 20mm wide - follow the Bat Conservation Trust guidance
- where bats are known to feed
- preservative-free if made of wood
- sheltered from strong winds and sun for at least part of day
- close to a hedgerow, tree line or other linear vegetation feature
- placed with one or two other boxes facing in different directions to offer a range of temperature conditions
Bats and their roosts are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 - it is an offence to disturb, handle or kill bats. A licence from Natural England is needed to inspect bat boxes that have been or are being used by bats.