Rangers in the Lake District are busy constructing new homes to attract visitors.
But instead of bricks and mortar, these homes are made from wire mesh, timber, moss and twigs. And the new residents the conservationists hope to attract are some of the country’s most impressive raptors.
Ospreys have resettled in the Lake District in the last few years and more than 100,000 people have flocked to see them. Now secret locations are being chosen for artificially created nests which teams from the Forestry Commission and the Lake District National Park hope will attract new breeding pairs.
The birds overfly Cumbria on their migration route in spring. Wardens have constructed the nests, the size of a single bed, in the hope of attracting more ospreys.
Mike Thornley, the Forestry Commission’s chief wildlife ranger at Grizedale Forest, said: “Cumbria has a limited number of potential breeding sites for ospreys, so we've decided to offer the birds ready-made nests that will hopefully attract them to new locations around the county.”
A pair of ospreys nested near Bassenthwaite Lake in 2001, the first time the Lake District has seen the species breeding for 150 years. The osprey viewing point at Dodd Wood, near Keswick, will re-open in early April.
Ospreys exist on a diet of fish. They have a wingspan of up to 170cm and weigh between 1.1kg and 2kg. It is estimated there are only 160 breeding pairs in Britain. They are resident only between April and September.