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Engineers install love nests for ospreys

Electricity engineers have installed love nests for ospreys along the Lee Valley Regional Park in Essex.

From Press releases - 14 July 2016 12:00 AM

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Electricity engineers have installed love nests for ospreys along the Lee Valley Regional Park in Essex.

Hopes are high that three new ‘penthouse suites’ installed yesterday will win approval from their intended new tenants, meaning the park’s first osprey eggs could be hatching out next spring.

Local electricity distributor, UK Power Networks, was approached by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority for help with their plans to erect artificial nesting platforms for breeding osprey pairs. It follows their successful re-introduction at Rutland Water in Leicestershire.

Electricity linesmen who are used to working at height, installing electricity poles and stringing power lines helped the plans take flight. The company donated and installed six 10-metre high poles to support large nests close to lakes in the Broxbourne and Cheshunt areas.

Paul Roper, volunteer and community engagement manager at Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, said: “Our designs for the platforms come from Rutland Water which began a successful release project 20 years ago, with seven pairs and saturated nesting sites. We are convinced if we put up similar platforms ospreys could soon be nesting here.

“We know ospreys are looking for nesting sites and we are sure they move through the Lee Valley in the spring and autumn, during the migration. If we put the nests in correctly we are very hopeful we will see breeding osprey pairs soon in Lee Valley Regional Park. UK Power Networks engineers have been fantastically helpful with this project.”

Heather Patrick, environment adviser at UK Power Networks, said: “This is a great project and it is fantastic to be involved. It is expensive for someone who doesn’t have the facilities and skills, yet it is something we do every day of the week. We have the expertise and equipment and it fits with our aim of being a good corporate citizen.

“Ospreys are known to be in this part of the world but haven’t bred here yet. I would feel proud and excited if we played a part in helping them establish in this area and I will definitely be watching the nest on webcam. These are skills our guys have in abundance and it is not easy for the park to achieve this without our help. It is a great partnership.”

The majestic bird of prey, more commonly seen over Scottish lochs, is one of a small group of ospreys that visit the UK in the summer. Most spend the winter in Africa before migrating through France, Spain and the UK to breed near lakes and catch fish for the hatchlings.