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Bankside’s urban birds enjoy new Nestworks

Around Valentine's Day courting birds across the UK will begin inspecting potential nesting sites - and thanks to the Nestworks project there are more possibilities than ever around the streets of Bankside.

Nestworks in Union Street
These nesting boxes are derived from the standard concrete blocks used in building projects throughout London

Informed and inspired by ornithologist Peter Holden MBE, 51% studios has created three types of 'assisted readymades' which have been installed across the Bankside Urban Forest area.

The first Nestworks prototypes were shown in the Union Street Urban Orchard during the 2010 London Festival of Architecture and now many more have been permanently installed across the wider Bank­side area.

The block-style nesting boxes are made from concrete bulked with recycled wood shavings, a material that is proven to fledge more young than any other.

The interior block dimensions are perfectly sized for house sparrows which are in steep decline in the area – and the box is designed to keep rats, squirrels and woodpeckers out.

Other birds catered for are blue tits, great tits, starlings, wrens, robins and blackbirds.

A new website – – allows bird lovers to find out where the new nesting boxes are located and provides a rundown of the types of birds to be seen in and around Bankside.

The project was commissioned by the Tooley Street-based Architecture Foundation.

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