B&B Highway, a bed and breakfast habitat regeneration initiative, has been created by PlantingSeeds to support biodiversity and encourage sustainability within our ecosystem, PlantingSeeds’ microbat nesting box program is a positive case study in these partnerships. The PlantingSeeds’ Nesting Box Project was funded through a Responsible Wood Community Grant.
The construction of the nesting boxes and other items for the 2021 Responsible Wood PlantingSeeds’ Nesting Box Project has involved many individuals and organisations. The Community Timber Partnerships program which provided the timber and its transportation to Sydney to allow construction brings together the Forestry Corporation NSW, Pentarch Forestry and Planet Ark’s Make it Wood Campaign.
The nesting box project supports PlantingSeeds’ B&B Highway initiative which implements regenerative habitats at schools to form corridors for biodiversity and learning. The B&B Highway focuses on pollinators such as bees, birds and bats to support numbers and ranges, supporting these threatened species.
The ‘Highway’ now numbers close to 100 B&Bs in three States – NSW, Victoria and Queensland – and each school becomes a B&B hub through plantings, constructed habitat and educational sessions. The constructed habitat at each school is determined by the particular pollinator that is native to the area.
Timber provided by the Responsible Wood project has created scores of possum and parrot nesting boxes, as well as microbat boxes based on two designs, and platforms for native stingless beehives. The research that supports the microbat box designs is based on the latest academic field research with the University of Sydney’s Dr Caragh Threlfall advising on structure, dimensions and optimum numbers for installation.
The project is supporting threatened species, and is able to exist due to collaborations and partnerships, academic expertise and grassroots knowledge and actions.
Research indicates that microbats prefer ‘safety in numbers’ and will be more likely to roost in a nesting box if others are nearby.
Consequently, PlantingSeeds will install at least five microbat boxes in each of the schools that can support these important and threatened pollinators.
The Responsible Wood project supports the creation of B&B hubs in a number of new locations. As a result of the grant, PlantingSeeds is completing the implementation of plantings, habitats and educational sessions at four Sydney schools near the Cumberland State Forest – at Asquith Public School, West Pennant Hills Public School, Castle Hill Public School and Muirfield High School. They are also intending to place nesting boxes produced by this project in schools in other B&B locations.
This year, for example, will see them installed at six schools in the Parramatta local government area.
The nesting boxes and other constructions created by the many individuals involved in the Responsible Wood project are tangible symbols of collaboration and conservation.
PlantingSeeds is a sustainability program that focuses on environmental protection and education. The organisation champions sustainability in urban and peri-urban environments, through a range of initiatives. The organisation was a recipient of one of the Responsible Wood Community Grants in 2021.
More information about PlantingSeeds can be found here.
For details on the Responsible Wood Community Grants Program click here.