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This product is perfect for the every day garden, its pale blue colour is pleasing to the eye and creates a nice tone in the garden. The pale blue also means its practical and should withstand weather well. The only issue with this product is that attaching is quiet challenging, but if you have the tools, unlike me, i am sure it will be fine.
Over the early May bank holiday, we treated the garden to a bit of a makeover as we had home improvements inside last year and as a result it got a bit neglected. As part of the makeover, I bought the Gardman beach hut nest box as a small feature and to provide a nest area for the birds to use. I purchased it at the local garden centre on offer at £10.99 (RRP £15.99). Having done a bit of googling today, it seems that was a good price - the cheapest I can find is on Amazon for £12.99 and there's a £2 postage charge on top. It's available in two colours - a pale yellow and a pale blue, I opted for the pale blue.
The bird box is designed to look like a beach hut, made of slatted wood layered on top of each other to create a simple rippled pattern all over. Both the main part of the hut and it's roof are in this design with the main part painted in the pale blue colour (and made of pine). The roof is a plain wooden colour (made of red cedar wood). In the centre of the box is a round hole, which looks like a porthole, surrounded in metal where the birds can enter. The hole doesn't look massive but is definitely big enough to let small birds pass in and out - sometimes I think these holes look way too tiny on some bird boxes (although I realise birds have a lot of fluff in their feathers too!) It measures 32mm in diameter. Gardman say that it's ideally suited to small birds such as sparrows so don't expect a Dove or some of the larger birds to make it's nest in there. The whole thing measures around 15cm x 18cm x 24cm in total so isn't very big. This was ideal for us as it's an extra alongside a bird bath and table. There isn't a little shelf so there's nowhere to leave food which I have seen on other boxes in ths garden centres, although I wouldn't think this was entirely appropriate anyway as bird nests should never be tampered with - a ledge for feeding may make the birds think you are attacking the nest.
There is a small hook at the back of the box to hang it up with, we've just knocked a large nail into a fence panel and hung it up over that. The box then just dangles down so does sometimes moves a little when there are strong winds but it seems to be sturdy enough up there - it's been over a month now and as it's not fallen off or shown any sign of weathering whatsoever and that is including a good few nights of strong winds and heavy rain. Another plus is that it doesn't weigh too much so the small nail that we used in the fence to hang it up with has worked perfectly fine.
I was attracted to this because of it's looks mainly but also by the cleaning routine. It was described as being easy to open and empty when the birds have flown to clean out. This is the only disappointing thing. When we bought ours, we were too late for birds to create a nest in there but I decided to check before hanging to make sure I could open it to clean so that if they do next year, I know what I'm doing. I have found it very fiddly to try and open though - unfortunately I never managed it after 10 minutes of fiddling! There is a very small piece of metal that sticks out at the back of the hut and this turns. Once turned, a section of the wood on the hut is supposed to slide open but ours seems to be set very firmly in place and going nowhere. I first thought that mine was just a faulty one but I actually nipped back to the garden centre last week and tried the same process on another on the display - no joy there either.
I absolutely love the look of this bird box. It is a modern feature to the garden although I've had to accept that once a birdie family decides to build their nest in it and have flown away, I'll probably have to discard it afterwards just because it doesn't look as though I'll be able to clean it out. At just over £10, this doesn't bother me too much although it would have been nice if it had worked as it should so I could continue using it. I rate it 4 stars overall with this aspect just letting it down a little.
Thanks for reading :o)