Woking Peregrine Project
The Woking Peregrine Project (WPP) owes its origin to when Peregrines were first seen on Export House from 2001. This office was previously leased by British American Tobacco giving its former name, The BAT building. Surrey Bird Club’s former Ringing Secretary, Richard Denyer, monitored this potential breeding site for many years and tried to get permission from the former owners to install a suitable nest box. During June and July 2015 it was decided to try again for permission and the first Project planning meeting was arranged with Martin Pooley, Head of Operations at Woking Shopping Ltd. Following two further meetings with Nick Dixon (https://urbanperegrines.co.uk/) in September and October, the WPP started to evolve.
The Project owes much to John Bannister for his expertise in co-coordinating the potential Project partners and finance that was necessary for the Peregrine nest box installation. The box was sited and work completed on the 29/01/2016 – just in time for the next breeding season. The WPP’s success owes much to the help given by Woking Borough Council’s Green Infrastructure Manager, Tracey Haskins, and the Council have used the WPP to promote their biodiversity work within the Borough. The creation and running of the Project’s websitehttp://www.wokingperegrines.com/ has been skilfully undertaken by the current webmaster, Craig Denford. Since April 2016, many UK and overseas visitors to the website have enjoyed intimate views of the Woking Peregrines’ behaviour and breeding success. The WPP has featured on the BBC’s One Show / BBC local radio, ITV’s Local News and a special feature in the August 2018 edition of the BBC Wildlife magazine.
From 2016 to 2018, 14 eggs have been laid, 11 juvenile Peregrines have been ringed and all 11 have fledged from the nest site on Export House. It’s worth looking at the WPP’s Timeline; http://www.wokingperegrines.com/timeline/ to see when eggs were laid and other key events that have occurred. Various articles have been published on the WPP, some of which can be seen at http://www.wokingperegrines.com/in-the-press/
The WPP has benefited from help given by many generous individuals, clubs, organisations and businesses. The WPP Partners are shown on; http://www.wokingperegrines.com/partners/ . Surrey Bird Club has been key in providing financial assistance for the Project and for using it to help promote their important conservation work. During May and June, the Club has a stand in Woking’s Jubilee Square and Club members are on hand to point out the resident Peregrines.