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Old 11-02-10, 06:46 PM
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Default Inner City Bird Hide

hello everyone,

I am currently a final year interior architecture student at kingston university and I am proposing an idea for an Urban Bird Hide that would be located in disused space between buildings in central london.

The main theme would be to create a hideaway in London where bird watchers can come and be in a comfortable environment. Perhaps opposite a london park or waterway. The proposed interior would have different viewing platforms and an area for an archive and log books. Perhaps this hide could also function as an ornithology education centre.

I would really like to know what is necessary in a bird hide? or is there anything lacking that you wish you had? also, locations in London where you may have seen a rare species of bird? or a Location which is great for birdwatching?

in an ideal world what would your perfect hide be?

any suggestions or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Please see my blog for inspiration imagery.

thank you!
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Old 11-02-10, 07:38 PM
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I guess they need to be vandal proof to start with.

Have the hide with back to sun. Or where sunshines is mainly in the one direction away from hide as viewing birds with sun behind them is just seeing their "dark side". Or have window spaces all round the hide for different times of the day.

Wheelchair accessable.

That's the newbie to bird watching view of things. I will leave it to the more experienced with their ideas.

PS, a little elecrtical out to make a hot cuppa on the very cold days
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Old 11-02-10, 11:13 PM
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vandal proof?
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Old 12-02-10, 12:29 AM
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I'm sorry but nothing is vandal proof in this world, regardless where you are!

As for the electrical output, it's a ''hide'' remember, not a kitchen. I normaly find a hot flask of tea does the trick

I do however think this is a good idea and I have certainly never heard of an urban hide before. I think some carefull planning would be required as to where you put it, but somewhere that has a variety of surrounding habitats, ie - on the banks of the Themes near some derelict buildings or waste land with a mixture of city life all in view. Whether such a place even exists i'm not sure, but you want to try and attract as many species as you can if you want to make it a success.

Just my opinion, and all the best for what ever you come up with.
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Old 12-02-10, 09:31 AM
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Hi and welcome to the forum!

You have some nice design pics in your blog,well done!
The most important feature for me in a birdhide is that the seating and viewing spaces are set to varying heights and not just designed for 6 foot men......I have trouble seeing out of most of them without having to hover on me toes!!! lol

We have a local hide with toilets and a kitchen which is a nice luxury but not really necessary as we usually take flasks etc.

Facing north is another + as there's nothing worse than a bird hide that you can't see out of when the sun shines!!

Good luck with your project and do let us know how things progress!
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Old 12-02-10, 09:44 AM
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At Fairburn Ings they had converted cargo containers which were reinforced.

Obvious drawback there is they need to be locked up.

A basic hide, which you se about is a wall with a slit in it, but that is exposed.

Thinking of shelter in an urban environment and I'm thinking bus shelter they are exposed to the same dangers as your bird hide would be.

So my suggestion is something like a bus shelter, nice and robust and airy.
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Old 12-02-10, 12:41 PM
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Sorry to put a downer on this but, it would have to be manned 24hrs a day or vandalisation and miss use would the main problems for inner city locations, if its got a roof then the "kids" will hang out in it. At various locations up here they've tried all sorts of materials but they eventually get wrecked or end up smelling like a sewer and littered with used needles, but I wish you good luck with your endeavour.

Last edited by Merlin; 12-02-10 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 12-02-10, 01:29 PM
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A warm welcome to the forum, ICBH!


I agree with Maggie an electrical point to make a fresh cuppa......and a loo would be heaven!


Seriously this project would take some serious thought in an Urban area. I can't really add more than the advice given. Good luck with your project.
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Old 12-02-10, 02:31 PM
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I didn't want to mention the loo part so thanks to those that did.

The only vandal proof would be for it to be made of concrete, won't stop the spray painting though.
I know it's a hide but in the winter time, the last thing you want is an "airy" hide.

I lasted about 15 minutes in one of Loch Winnochs hide. I was absolutely frozen. Hence a wee cuppa would have helped. I had a flask but it was so cold, I drunk it all pretty quickly and nothing to heat me up later on.
Just walked back to the centre and got a hot chocolate.

Courtney, are you just designing a hide or is there plans to actually build one?
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Old 12-02-10, 06:45 PM
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Default Hide

unfortunately the project is only theoretical as i am still a student with 3 months to go and this is my final project. However you never know for the future!

I really appreciate all of the comments from people who have posted so far. Any advice is very helpful to me since i am not well informed in the world of birdwatching.

I will continue posting things to do with the project to let you know how it is all going.

Remember if there is ANYTHING that you think could make the experience any better, ideas could be far out there or the more practical such as some of the suggestions that have been made so far are all noted.


thank you!
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