Sparrow shelters will be put up across the borough over the next few weeks thanks to National Bird Box Week.

House sparrows – affectionately known as Cockney sparrows – have been in sharp decline for more than a decade and are now rated as a species of ‘most concern’ by the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP).

As part of the week (February 14-21) Continental Landscape, who is contracted by Richmond Council, has donated £100 towards the purchase and installation of house sparrow boxes which will be installed on council owned buildings.

Niko Mardushaj, from Continental Landscapes, said: “National Nest Box Week is the perfect opportunity to contribute and raise awareness of the need to provide habitats for our native birds, especially in urban environments.

“We are pleased to continue our strong relationship with London Borough of Richmond and help the Council to enhance the biodiversity of the borough by donating these bird boxes.”

The cause for the mysterious disappearance of sparrows is believed to be starving chicks, who require protein from caterpillars and grubs in their first few weeks of life; the RSPB found that supplementary feeding of mealworms increased nesting success by 55 per cent in Leicester.

National Bird Box Week takes place each year and aims to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area to protect the biodiversity of our breeding birds and wildlife.

Councillor Pamela Fleming, cabinet member for the environment, said: “Natural nest sites for birds such as holes in trees or old buildings are disappearing fast as gardens are ‘tidied’ and old houses are repaired.

“Bird boxes can be easily made or are inexpensive to buy. But the rewards for both the environment and indeed families and nature lovers alike are much more.”

If you are putting up a bird box, or if you already have one, contact the South West London Environment Network via