12 nest boxes have been installed at the Outwoods in Loughborough, to help redstart and spotted flycatcher raise their young successfully.

Spotted flycatcher and redstart are migrating songbirds who spend their winter in Africa but return to the UK to breed every Spring. Spotted flycatchers are suffering a rapid decline. They are classed on the UK’s “Red List” of birds, meaning they are of the highest conservation priority, and need urgent action. Redstarts, meanwhile, are on the “Amber list”, as they are showing a slower – but nonetheless concerning – decline.

The Outwoods is an ancient semi-natural woodland in Loughborough. This type of woodlands is rare, rich and complex habitats, and loved by both redstart and spotted flycatcher. Although there are no records of either species at the Outwoods, they are known to be nearby.

An RSPB team visited the Outwoods in May 2019 where they identified some perfect habitat for both birds, and recommended installing special nest boxes to encourage them on-site. Six boxes for each species were purchased by Charnwood Borough Council and installed by idverde’s Charnwood team just in time for the breeding season.

Rita Gries, community nature engagement officer for the RSPB-idverde partnership said: “With the addition of those nestboxes, the Outwoods are now a perfect location for spotted flycatcher and redstart to raise their young. It would be amazing to see them make their home here. Everyone at Charnwood Borough Council, the RSPB and idverde are looking forward to hearing whether they have come, and that we have played our part in helping those struggling species.”

This project is part of the RSPB – idverde partnership. The RSPB – idverde partnership launched in 2017, and sees two RSPB employees embedded within idverde teams in Bromley and the Midlands, to support and advise on wildlife-friendly green space management.


Image credits:

Spotted flycatcher – Andy Hay, RSPB-images.com

Redstart – Ben Andrew, RSPB-images.com

Bluebells – Ciaran Fern, idverde