A sparrow nesting in the RNLI lifeboat building in Bembridge. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
WORK to refurbish an RNLI lifeboat station has been held up by sparrows.
Bembridge RNLI has delayed work on refurbishing its shoreside lifeboat station at Lane End Road because sparrows have nested in its roof space.
Concern was raised by Bembridge resident Ralph Ballhatchet after he was told by the RNLI it would block holes in the building that were not occupied by birds.
However, the RSPB said sparrows, which are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, were communal nesters and some holes could not be blocked because there was no way of knowing which birds used them.
Sparrows usually have three to four broods a year, which can last until September. Other species, including housemartins, have nested in the building.
However, following Tuesday’s meeting with Ian Boyd, of Natural Enterprise, which is advising Bembridge RNLI, the holes will not be blocked and refurbishment work will not start until the nests are no longer active.
Bembridge coxswain, Steve Simmonds, said: "Birds are birds — we have waited long enough to do this work, so we can wait a bit longer."