More than a billion animals have been killed in the Australian bushfires and over 10 million hectares of natural habitat burnt.
Wildlife volunteers across the country have been doing everything possible to provide food, water and care for surviving animals, but the hollows that many small animals and birds desperately need have been destroyed and without the right shelter these animals may die or fail to breed.
Enter Black Goat Timberwork, who, having heard of the devastation wrought on our native flora and fauna, are building 50 nesting boxes to suit possums, sugar gliders, birds and owls in bushfire-affected areas.
The Belgrave business, which creates handmade wood pieces, has dedicated their skills to building nest boxes, which will then be donated to the animal rescue collective.
Owners Katy and Stuart Reid, asked for donations of wood to assist in the building of the boxes.
“We need any help we can get with timber and supplies to build the boxes,” they said.
“We are using all profits from our etsy store this month to purchase additional materials and are using all the suitable timber we have here already.”
Once completed they will transport the boxes to wildlife groups in affected areas.
Ms Reid said specifically donations of untreated pine, hardwood or plywood (between 12 and 25mm thick) would assist in the construction of the boxes.
“Maybe you have some offcuts of plywood in your shed that you don’t need? Or maybe your workplace has something we could use? It doesn’t need to be in great condition, we can make it work.”
“We also need water based exterior paint in pale neutral colours (grey/green etc) as well as hinges and screws we can use in the construction.”
She said that already the family has made 40 boxes, and that since posting about the project, a number of Men’s Sheds, She Sheds, along with Scoresby Bunning’s have come on board to run workshops.
Donations have flooded in, with Katie paying particular thanks to Belgrave South Timber, Jamie from Monbulk, and Scott Mckenzie.
Since the Facebook post, Stuart and Sean from Crackerjack timbers have already built 40 boxes.
“All timber donated will be used to make nesting boxes, we don’t have to stop at 50, we’ll make 100 if we can,” Ms Reid said.
Ms Reid said the communities involvement over the past few weeks has been overwhelming.
“It’s really warmed us. Our post alone has reached 95,000 people and people continue to comment and post on it.”
“Most of the timber we got was form one person who did it off his own back. … he filled his ute full of plywood.“
“We couldn’t just sit back and watch the fires happen … we wanted to do something.”
“We haven’t got a lot of money to donate so we though we’ll donate our time. This is our little way helping community and giving back as best we can.”
To donate or get involved contact Katy by searching @blackgoattimberworks on Facebook.