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BIRDHOUSE BOOTS: Amersham resident honours brother in law by converting a pair of his boots into birdhouses

 Published on: 10th August 2022   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

A born and bred Amersham resident has honoured her brother-in-law with a touching tribute.

Belinda Holmes has commemorated the late John Roger Whatmore by converting a pair of his garden boots into birdhouses, with a chime of wren chicks nesting inside until they were ready to fly.

John had a profound love of birds and would often be found in his shed making bird boxes and recycling items to make feeders. He took pride in the array of species that would visit his garden, and befriended one blackbird who was said to be waiting for him by the shed every morning. As his health began to deteriorate and walking became more of a challenge, the garden became John’s lifeline.

In August of last year, John suffered a major stroke and spent several months in the hospital.

Belinda said: “With the help and support of the fantastic team at JR hospital we managed to bring him home to spend his last days surrounded by his family. We had his bed set up so that he could look out onto his beloved garden and the bird feeders.”

Sadly, John died just days after returning home, aged 73.

When Belinda saw John’s boots sitting in the shed without their owner she knew exactly what to do with them.

Belinda told AmershamNews: “I recycled an old bird nest box, drilled on the boots and then secured them in different places around my garden.”

It was late June when Belinda first noticed a wren flying into the boot.

She said: “To my delight I discovered that she had made Johns boot her home. During the middle of July I heard faint chirping. The wren was constantly flying back and forth, busy feeding her young. Over the coming weeks I would sit and view their progress.

“As they grew the chicks could often be viewed sitting at the entrance of the nest, eagerly waiting for their next feed. I was lucky enough to be sat in the garden to observe the chicks fledge, there were four in all. They are still regular visitors to my hedgerow.

“I am sure that John would be looking down with pride.”

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