Installing a Sand Martin Bank

December 07, 2016

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The sand martin bank is a new design that we have constructed for the Abberton Reservoir site managed by Essex Wildlife Trust (where we have already built five bird hides, a children’s visitor centre, and an outdoor play area). As you can see, this particularly structure is ‘conveniently’ located on an island, meaning that after we had built the structure in our Norfolk workshop, we had to make a temporary water crossing that allowed us to reverse our trailer onto the island and unload the sand martin bank in its final position.

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Getting the basic structure onto the island was just the beginning of the work as we now have lots to to with the structure before it is completed.

The Sand Martin Bank Design

We constructed the sand martin bank with an insulated roof and purpose built nesting holes, each featuring a soft, mortar entrance. Each hole will be sculpted to emulate real holes in a real bank, with clay pipes down to a sand / soil nest chamber. Each nest has an accessible box for monitoring of the nest, and the entire structure is insulated to protect it from the heat of the sun. Visual intrusion into the landscape is minimised with soft profiles and a sedum roof that is held in place with wire mesh through which it will grow. To help the future sand martin residents flourish, the entire structure is vermin proof with a mesh floor and anti-climb baffles.

Here you can see a few photos taken during a very wet installation. We will post more pictures of the completed structure on its island location at Abberton Reservoir when everything is finished.

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Finishing the Sand Martin Bank