A COMMUNITY project which helps bring older men together has donated some newly-constructed bird boxes group members made.

Members of the Test Valley Men’s Shed, based in Laverstoke, had the choice of projects to take on with woodworking and craft challenges, opting to create bird boxes.

On Saturday 20 January, members of Test Valley Men’s Shed and Oakley-based conservation group Jubiloaks installed the bird and owl boxes in Oakley woodland.

The two owl and six nesting boxes were created from scratch by members of the Men’s Shed team out of wood to make them as environmentally-friendly as possible.

They were made when the group got together, as part of the scheme’s aim to help alleviate loneliness in older men.

Chairman of Test Valley Men’s Shed, Bob Hough, said: “We’ve already seen some blue tits use the bird boxes and it is really nice to see them in use already.”

Since appearing in a short segment on the BBC in February 2017, the group has doubled in size, going up from six members in February last year, to 12 now, with more people showing their interest.

Bob added: “It’s a growing movement, which is exactly what we want.

“It’s open to everyone, even if you don’t have any practical experience.

“It’s brilliant what can be done out of nowhere like this.”

The group is also continuing its ongoing project of renovating its headquarters of The Old Tennis Pavilion, in Laverstoke Lane.

The latest development is the fixing of the rotten floor, with some of the members donating the money to help fix it, which has now been paid back since the group was awarded lottery funding.

The group is always on the look out for new members, and is also available to take on local community projects.

The Test Valley Men’s Shed meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9am-12pm.

For more information about the Test Valley Men’s Shed, go to testvalleymensshed.org.uk.