Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Shredded Wheat Factory Turns Up Trumps

30th May 2014

The iconic Shredded Wheat factory in Welwyn Garden City was built in 1926 and produced the breakfast cereal until the closure of the factory in 2008. Since then it has laid derelict pending its demolition to make way for 200 new homes. So basically we have a cliff-like structure on a private site with no-one allowed in, an ideal site for a pair of Peregrine Falcons, and this is precisely what happened in the summer of 2014.

Chris Beach who works in Welwyn Garden City noticed the Peregrine activity around the building and suspected that the pair were breeding. The nest would appear to be on the northern face of the building on the walkway above the silos, which are the tall white buildings behind the Shredded Wheat sign. Unfortunately, as there is no vantage point that overlooks the suspected nest site and the fact that there is no access due to Health and Safety reasons, it has not been possible to verify the breeding attempt. However, the fact that the male is constantly perched on the northern side of the building suggests that the female is indeed sitting on eggs, and only the fulness of time will tell if successful breeding is confirmed by the appearance of young. Fingers crossed for a Hertfordshire first.

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