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Nature & Science

Julie Reinger takes the Nest Box Challenge
Julie Reinger builds her nest box

BBC Nest Box Challenge

Build a better bird box with the BBC's Nest Box Challenge. The boxes are free and are designed to cosset our feathered friends. Grab your box, build it and make sure to register it to tell us who comes to visit.

BBC Look East's Julie Reinger, a keen nature lover, was asked to take up the Nest Box Challenge - build a nest box for the garden, monitor the bird-life that comes to visit and help the British Trust for Ornithology with its wild bird survey.

The idea of Julie building the box was to show Look East viewers just how easy it is to create a bird's des-res.

"The decline of wild birds in my garden has been very worrying, which is why I think the Breathing Places bird boxes are absolutely brilliant. The more people who can attract bird life to their gardens the better," said Julie.

Screw-driver in hand, Julie set about building her nest box for the Look East cameras.

video Watch: Julie Reinger takes the Nest Box Challenge >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

"I had such fun taking the nest box challenge, although my DIY skills are obviously a lot worse than I realised," said Julie.

"The film actually makes me look fairly competent, but it speaks volumes that my cameraman couldn't stop laughing all the time I was putting the box together," she added.

Get your own nest box

Nest Box Challenge nest box
Build your very own nest box

You can claim a BBC nest box by taking part in the Environment Family Fun Day at The Forum, Norwich on Sunday, 25 March, 2007 with BBC Voices.

The BBC nest boxes come in a flat-pack format, but experts will be on hand to help you build it on site and explain how to register your box for the BTO survey.

It's important to let them know which birds in your garden are using the nest box, the information will then be used as part of the BBC's Springwatch and Breathing Places projects.

Exploding nest box gag

When Look East anchor Stewart White discovered Julie was taking part in the challenge, it sparked an idea for a little mischief.

video Watch: Julie, Stewart and the exploding nest box! >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

"Julie was rightly very proud of her nest box and asked me if I would look after it in the studio while she did the weather," said Stewart.

"I had this thought that if I had done it, it would have fallen apart. One thing led to another, resulting in a classic comedy moment.

Julie tries to rescue her collapsed nest box
Julie tries to save her nest box

"The look on Julie's face was a picture as she had no idea what we'd planned.

"The problem was producing a nest box that would remain whole while I picked it up, but fall apart easily - as the proper nest boxes are incredibly sturdy. The answer was a well trained BBC engineer and sticky back plastic," he added.

Julie took the joke in good humour.

"I should have known that Stewart was up to something. As I passed him the nest box to look after during my forecast, he was far too nice about my handy work," said Julie.

"When the box actually crashed on the floor I was left absolutely speechless - but after the programme we walked back to our cars laughing all the way," she added.

For more information about the Environment Family Fun Day in Norwich on Sunday, 25 March, 2007 call the CSV Norfolk Action desk on 01603 631631, or just turn up on the day.

We regret that it is not possible to dispatch the nest box kits by post.

last updated: 16/02/07
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