New home for Kingfishers!


A nesting bank for Kingfishers has been installed beside the Regent’s Canal in Limehouse.


Kingfisher (John Archer)

Kingfishers are regularly seen along the Regent’s Canal and other waterways in the borough in winter, but always leave before the breeding season starts. This is probably due to a lack of suitable soft, vertical banks in which they can dig their nest burrows. Providing suitable nesting sites for Kingfishers is an objective in the Tower Hamlets Local Biodiversity Action Plan.

The Council’s Sustainable Development Team agreed to fund the construction of a kingfisher bank to contribute to this LBAP objective. The edge of the Brunton Wharf estate, where the canal is wide and relatively undisturbed, seemed an ideal location. The idea was supported by Tower Hamlets Homes and local residents. So the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, working with Grounded Ecotherapy, were commissioned to build the bank.

Kingfisher bank construction

Pouring the concrete base

The bank is constructed of concrete, filled with tightly-packed soft sand, an ideal medium for Kingfishers to burrow into. An overhanging roof protects the exposed face of soft sand from predators such as foxes and rats. It is very similar to a highly successful design used at the RSPB’s Rye Meads Nature Reserve, where Kingfishers have nested for years.

The work was completed in February 2016, in time for this year’s nesting season. Now we are just waiting to see if a Kingfisher will find the bank.

All photos of the banks and its construction by Ken Greenway.


Kingfisher bank construction

Packing the sand

Pouring the roof and walls

Pouring the roof and walls (Ken Greenway)

Close-up of sand face and overhanging roof

Close-up of sand face and overhanging roof



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