A group of Sea Scouts have transformed an overgrown patch of land at Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club into a deluxe bird-feeding area with a nautical theme.

8th Blyth Sea Scouts regularly carry out litter picks on Blyth beach and in the surrounding area, and after being nominated in summer for the Love Northumberland Awards, were awarded a £100 runner-up prize in the Young People's category.  

With a group membership at Derwent Reservoir SC and a fleet of eight sailing dinghies, they decided to use the money to create a wildlife haven outside the club's training hut - which has two windows overlooking it and can now also double-up as a bird hide.  

The Scouts firstly had to clear the area and cut down the weeds and grass. They then made bird feeders, using natural materials where possible and recycled objects, and added an old boat as a centrepiece with a mast to hang them from.

A log pile was also built to provide a home for minibeasts and shelter to attract hedgehogs, which have been spotted within the grounds of the sailing club.   

Assistant Scout Leader Pete McNaughton said: "Although sailing and powerboat driving is a focus for us, with some stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking thrown in for good measure, the group always likes to take part in environmental projects.  

"When the weather prevents access to the water, dry-land activities such as this one at the club are needed, and they also contribute towards the Scouts achieving environmental and community-based badges."  

He said an added bonus was that for family members left on shore while spouses, children or parents were on the water, the bird feeding area provided some of "nature's TV" to pass the time: "So far we've had visits from blue and great tits, chaffinches, robins and blackbirds, and owls have been spotted at the reservoir. As the area gets established we hope to see the variety to expand."  

Posters have been bought from the RSPB centre at Saltholme to assist with bird identification, along with a good stock of nuts and seed for the winter months.  

Next year the Scouts aim to develop their project further with the making of bird and bat boxes of varying styles to provide more habitats within the grounds of the club.    

Find out more about how to make your club green and sustainable with The Green Blue, the environmental awareness initiative developed by the RYA and British Marine.