Friday, 23 August 2019

Club offers comfortable home for flying visitors

Club offers comfortable home for flying visitors

PHYLLIS Court Club in Henley always strives to make its visitors feel welcome, whoever they are.

Now it can add the feathered variety to its list of happy customers.

The private members’ club has installed nine nesting boxes for small birds in its beautiful riverside grounds.

These have been placed on trees around the 18 acres of land surrounding the club off Marlow Road and will allow nesting birds to lay eggs and raise their young in the spring.

The boxes were the idea of members Ray and Janet Anstis, who are keen birdwatchers and pitched the idea to the club’s house committee.

Mr and Mrs Anstis, who live in Bray and have been members for 15 years, say they often watch birds both at home and at the club and wanted others to be able to see them in the wild.

The boxes were built and installed by naturalist Brian Clewes.

They are ideal for small birds such as nuthatches, blue tits and great tits.

Mrs Anstis said:“Ray and I have a keen interest in wildlife and thought the grounds of Phyllis Court offer a lovely opportunity to house some birds which would be interesting for members to observe.  We worked with Brian to set up the nest boxes. He told us that the possibility of birds nesting in them was high, so we’re all excited to see what the spring will bring.”

Mr Anstis said: “Phyllis Court Club has got quite large grounds with some very nice trees and we thought that because we like wildlife, it would be a good place to give birds an opportunity to nest.

“We see birds here but not as many as we would like. We have seen and heard nuthatches and there are red kites of course. We don’t expect all the boxes to be taken this year but we will be very glad if any are.”

The boxes, which are painted dark brown to blend in with the tree bark. have a small hole for birds to get in and out as they bring in twigs and other materials to create a nest inside.

Tony Horsfall, chairman of the house committee, said: “We’re a club that is famous for its hospitality.

“With the help of two of our members we have been able to extend that level of hospitality and service to our flying guests.

“We’re looking forward to monitoring the boxes and seeing what we have to report come the spring when the birds will hopefully settle in our grounds.

“The club is very interested in the environment and this is just one aspect of that. We have a large paddock which we used to let out but it will now stay green.

“Our house committee has an ongoing project, which is our environmental footprint.

“We are always looking for improvements —  we measure our waste and what is recycled and a lot of our members and staff are very proactive and concerned about environmental issues.”

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