The artificial sand-martin cliff is easy to build. A concrete base 60ft long and about 10ft wide should be laid. Two ‘cliffs’ should then be constructed, one on each side.

The base of each cliff consists of four layers of breezeblocks, then three layers on their sides. Into these, place 9in pipes, 3in in diameter (sand filling optional). Behind each pipe, a nest chamber with access door is then created.

The gap between the two ‘cliffs’ should be roofed for shelter and security. Tim Appleton is happy to give advice to land (water) owners wanting to construct a sand-martin cliff.

He can be contacted at Rutland Water Nature Reserve, Egleton, Oakham, Rutland LE15 8BT (01572 770651).