DIY workshop with Blossom Court sheltered housing residents & the Bretton Community

Birds were the focus of our DIY workshops. Why?

Bird song was continually named as an asset belonging to North Bretton as were the vast number of bird species, providing ample opportunity for bird watching! Resident’s love of the local wildlife cropped up over and over, as did they desire to better care for it!

George Lovesmith, Architect, Builder, Lecturer and everything in between was our special guest, up from Bristol, to run this workshop.

The aim of the workshop was to come up with a bird-friendly idea to improve/enhance an area of North Bretton through DIY!

The idea should be easy to maintain, of benefit to the community (give opportunity for social interaction), low cost and easy to replicate or upscale.

First stop was a drop in workshop at Blosson Court Sheltered housing unit and we got quite a crowd (including a former falcon trainer!)

George started by asking us to come up with an usual, even crazy, ‘bird box’ variation – not the typical ones you see, but something out of the ordinary.


One group designed a Bretton BnB for birds, coconut shells turn bird nest and a ye olde cart turned bird home.

George then showed us a series of artist-made bird box alternatives, which would have blown initial designs out of the water had they not been so creative.


With these new possibilities in mind, groups returned to their original designs, and this time armed with card, boxes, lolly pop sticks and more, to create their design in 3D.

Designs grew in scale and ambition. This included a rotating windmill-styled bird box: the windy house! It turned out everyone was a dab hand at model making:


We took all the submitted designs with us for consideration, and look forward to returning to Blossom Court to get their help with making the final design (using wood this time!)


Pyramid Community Centre (open workshop)

In the early evening we had our open public workshop.

We were very happy to be joined by:
– the local Brownies group and four of their leaders;
– a Parish councillor (whose day job is as an architect technician),
– a wonderful community-based youth work leader for the area of North Bretton,
– a keen bird watcher and member of Better Bretton,
– the lead of the WI, Better Bretton
– and some passersby!


The workshop followed the same format as before, and what did we produce this time?

A mosque bird box, celebrating the cultural diversity belonging to Bretton; a robot shaped bird box and other wonderful ideas:


George and a panel will now shortlist the final 3 designs which will then be voted upon by you! The winning idea will be installed over the summer with the Brownies, Blossom Court and everyone and anyone who wants to get involved!




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