The Claro Tree Sparrow Project, North Yorkshire,
How much has the Tree Sparrow declined?
Nationally over 50% in many areas in the last 40 years,
and this appears to be the case in the Claro area
Why is the Tree Sparrow declining?
Intensive use of agricultural chemicals, loss of hedgerows
and trees, and conversion of old farm buildings have
What can be done?
Successful work is already going on in the Claro area
to replace lost hedgerows and trees, provide winter
stubble and wider field edges. This will return some
of the feeding and nesting areas for birds such as
Tree Sparrow, Corn Bunting, Linnet, Lapwing, Grey Partridge
and Skylark, all of which previously occurred in good
numbers in the Harrogate area and across the UK. All
have declined locally..
Nest box schemes and winter feeding
in gardens have been shown to help Tree Sparrows considerably.
Existing nest box schemes in the Ripon area are showing
great success so we are aiming to create a network
of over 300 nest boxes in various-sized colonies throughout
the Claro area, ( roughly in a line south from Masham
to Pateley Bridge to Wetherby and east from that line
onto the Plain of York to the western outskirts of
Tree Sparrows tend to prefer to breed in loose
colonies so will happily nest in boxes near each other.
The aim is to establish several larger colonies throughout
the area at key sites, and also a larger number of
smaller colonies to create a network, followed by careful
monitoring of progress over several years. A number
of key sites for larger colonies have already been
identified but we are also looking for groups of Tree
Sparrows visiting winter feeders.
If you have Tree
Sparrows as winter visitors please do let us know as
it indicates there may be a small colony nearby and
we may be able to strengthen the colony with the provision
of boxes in the area, even in your garden if the conditions
are suitable. The project is supported by Harrogate
and District Naturalists’ Society,
Harrogate RSPB Group, and Harrogate Borough Council
who have identified Tree Sparrow as a BAP species in
need of conservation support locally.
We’ve had a barn converted, do you
think we have ousted some Tree Sparrows!
Renovation of barns and farm buildings to residential
and business premises does lead to loss of existing
breeding sites, but let’s face it, it’s
better to convert buildings than leave them to deteriorate
if they can no longer be used efficiently. The
birds will probably still be in the area and as they
take very readily to nest boxes you could have these
attractive birds back in no time. Check the Newsletters
for more information or email us for details.
How can we help with the Claro Tree Sparrow Project?
Tell us when you see Tree Sparrows using the sightings form.
Provide winter feeding if you see them in your
Provide nest boxes with a minimum 28mm entrance
Sign up for the Newsletter and we’ll update
you with regular News on the project and the ongoing
distribution maps based on local sightings! And
if you are a landowner or farmer and would like to
help with a larger nest box scheme it would be great
to hear from you.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Click Here To Submit Your Tree