Park guests glued to box as wildlife drama unfolds
GUESTS were left agog this spring at Moss Wood holiday park near Lancaster where the undercover secrets of a tiny bird were screened live for all to see.
Star of the show was a great tit which had chosen one of the park’s bird boxes to make its nest, little suspecting that it was going to be under constant CCTV surveillance.
For the box had been fitted with a miniature covert camera which wirelessly streamed a 24-hour video feed to a monitor screen in the park’s reception building.
Guests were able to watch the great tit carefully build its nest, and then to lay four brown-speckled white eggs upon which it sat while its male partner brought regular deliveries of food.
Fourteen days later, to everyone’s delight, the pair were rewarded with four great tit chicks.
Henry Wild, whose family has owned Moss Wood for over 40 years, said the unfurling drama was thrilling to watch, and was enjoyed especially by younger holiday guests:
“We’re very fortunate here to have a very wide range of resident and visiting birdlife, but great tits often nest in tree cavities, so can’t normally be observed at close quarters,” said Henry.
“They are very distinctive birds with their white cheeks and yellow underparts, and our camera gave a rare opportunity to study the bird close-up and to witness its amazing nest-building skills.
“Some of our holiday guests even made special return visits during the nesting period so that they could see the action, and we also sent email updates to customers who asked.
“Many of the children here were fascinated, and hopefully will be inspired to go on and make other wildlife discoveries in our grounds,” he added.
Last year, Moss Wood was shortlisted in the Lancashire Tourism Awards in the “sustainable tourism” category. thanks to its exceptional efforts to protect the natural world.
The park, situated in the village of Cockerham, recently became home to more than 100,000 honey bees after it installed three traditional timber hives in its grounds.
Their thriving future is assured thanks to the large number of high nectar-bearing blooms at Moss Wood, including a 3000 square-foot wildflower wilderness.
The bees are sharing their food sources with many types of butterflies and other pollinators, and there are plans to harvest the honey for sale in the park’s shop.
Moss Wood also has launched its own craft brewery beer, and every bottle sold is providing a cash donation for the British Beekeepers Association education charity.
Other natural attractions at Moss Wood include a 1.5km nature discovery trail, a spring-fed lake attracting many bird species, and events such as pond dipping and bat-walks.
The park provides holiday caravans for sale, and pitches for motorhomes and touring caravans. There is more information about Moss Wood Caravan Park at www.mosswood.co.uk