It was exciting to be in the Hills Forest Discovery Centre surrounded by beautiful bush to conduct our nest box workshop, aptly named ‘Home Among the Gum Trees’, as part of the Department of Parks and Wildlife’s Nearer to Nature winter school holidays program.
We started the day with a powerpoint presentation to give some background on the topic and enthuse the children about tree hollows. Then we dived straight into the building! We were lucky to have 16 children who were so well behaved and very keen to work together on their boxes. Consequently all had finished their box by mid afternoon and were excited to take them home to hang in a tree in their backyard.
With some time up our sleeve before parents arrived, it was a great opportunity to take the group on a bushwalk through the forest. On the walk we talked about the loss of habitat trees which contain natural tree hollows, and how boxes were an important way to help replace them. The bush surrounding the Hills Forest Centre provided fitting examples of this habitat loss, as most native trees had at been felled to provide timber for the Number 1 Pump Station used to transport water to Kalgoorlie in the gold rush. We saw how this area contained very few old habitat (hollow-bearing trees), and looked carefully at the younger trees which were now regenerating (albeit very slowly).
Hopefully the children are proud of their new boxes and have local wildlife living in them very soon! Anyone who was involved in the day we would love to hear about your box and if anything has been using it! Please put your comments below.