Bird houses are not only a nice feature to liven up your garden, but they're also great for the environment, too. Whether you're motivated by the sound of birdsong in the morning, or by the buzz you feel when giving back to nature, a birdhouse is still very much a staple in modern gardens and can make a big difference to your outdoor space. After all, we have a responsibility to look after the environment, so why not start with your own back yard? Birds are particularly useful to us for a number of reasons: they get rid of insects which like to eat the plants, they fertilise the ground, and they have a role to play in the pollination process. Not to mention, birds can also be quite cute!
Watching them come and go, nesting in the birdhouse and pecking at the seeds left out on the bird table, can be an enjoyable and interesting pastime as there are so many species to observe. If you're put off by the idea that bird houses aren't stylish enough for a modern garden, think again! This collection of funky feeding stations and brilliant bird houses show exactly why we still love them…
This stylish, contemporary design from Geoffroy Gillant Art & Design incorporates a feeding station and water trough. Seeds are stored in a lacquered steel tube measuring 720mm, allowing the birds to easily access the feed from the bottom of the hoop. The water trough is made from terracotta and is a great example of how simple design is often the most effective. Hidden fittings and geometric volumes emphasise the birds' interaction with their surroundings, and the overall design makes it an elegant addition to any garden.
Nestboxes should provide a sustainable, safe nesting environment for garden birds, but naturally, you also want them to look good, too. That's where this quirky nestbox from Hen and Hammock comes in. Made from durable timber with a hole measuring up to 32mm when the protector is removed, this triangular bird house makes a suitable home for smaller birds such as wrens and sparrows. This design suits all sorts of gardens, from traditional country acres to urban yards. Now everyone has the opportunity to embrace nature, and welcome wildlife into their outdoor spaces!
It's a shame to throw food away, especially consider how much we, as a nation, waste each year. It's a small change, but if you recycle your unwanted food for the birds, you can feel good about taking a step in the right direction towards a more eco-friendly way of living. This simple but elegant design is proof that caring for nature doesn't have to be a burden! It's made from recycled plant pots, collected through a UK wide 'pot to product' scheme—a truly green product through and through! It's worth baring in mind that different birds digest certain foods better than others, though you needn't worry, as the feeder comes with a list of ideas on which food is the best to put out for your feathered friends.
This milk carton inspired bird box from Jam Furniture is hardwearing, sustainable, and as you might have noticed, looks pretty cool, too! The box is made from bits of scrap plywood from local businesses, who would otherwise just throw it away. Jam Furniture have also re-purposed steel parts from discarded washing machines and dishwashers, which is trimmed and moulded to make the exterior shield. It's impossible not to be impressed by this innovative and eco-friendly approach to design, which also extends to the way in which the bird house is used. There are 4 opening sizes to suit a variety of species, and all you need to do to clean the box (which should be done every autumn, according to the RSPB), is remove the 4 small wing-nuts. It couldn't be more simple!
Ever thought of making a cake to welcome the birds to your garden? Best to lay off the jam sponge though, and instead, use the bird feed and suet which comes with this minimalist bird cake feeder. Though not necessarily a home for the birds, it certainly is a popular pit-stop which will see them returning again and again. The feeder itself is made from recycled yoghurt pots, and the design ensures that the birds remain fit and healthy (you don't want it to to be too easy for them to get to the food!). Included with the feeder is a set of instructions and some 'recipes', so you'll know exactly what you're doing, even if you haven't paid much attention to your garden and its' inhabitants before.
If you're keen to read more on ways to transform your garden, why not check out this ideabook on Zen Gardens?