Pinkhill Meadows Nature Reserve: Osprey nest tower and perch

The client: Thames Water Utilities Limited (TWUL).

The site: Farmoor Reservoir, Pinkhill Meadows Nature Reserve, Oxfordshire.

The brief: We were commissioned to construct an Osprey tower and perch to attract young Osprey to the Nature Reserve, as it has been observed that Osprey prefer to take over an existing nest than build a new one from scratch.

The solution: Working in partnership with TWUL and an Osprey specialist our skilled welder constructed a nest frame to a given specification at our Windsor Office. We transported the nest frame to site and used recycled telegraph poles to form the base for the main nest and nearby perch. On top of the frame we secured branches to form the edges of the nest to a height of 60cm, the middle was filled with soil and grass and the whole nest was finished with a dusting of moss. The nest and perch now stand 8m tall and there are plans to clear the surrounding scrubland to open up a clear vista.

The result: “I was so happy to have Maydencroft on board for this project, although they had never attempted building an Osprey nesting tower before they were extremely confident in taking the project on. When it came to the design and location Sam was present during a site visit with Tim Mackrill, an osprey expert from Rutland Waters, which helped all three of us understand what was necessary for the tower to succeed. The build itself could not have gone any smoother, both the perch and the nest were up in a day with very little disturbance to the nature reserve. The construction team were fantastic, professional and lovely people to work with. If the nest is successful in the next few years, I will definitely use Maydencroft to build another nest in the future.” Hanna, TWUL.

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