Andy’s grand plan takes flight at revamped aviary

BIRD-BRAINED Pupils Ridwan Ahmed and Darcie Healy of St George's Beneficial Primary School in Portsea with Andy Fraser and The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lynne Stagg. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132605-1)
BIRD-BRAINED Pupils Ridwan Ahmed and Darcie Healy of St George's Beneficial Primary School in Portsea with Andy Fraser and The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lynne Stagg. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132605-1)
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PART of a much-loved aviary has been given a revamp.

A section of the aviary in Victoria Park in Portsmouth city centre has been given a new lease of life with a renovation and the introduction of new birds.

And it was formally reopened with a symbolic release of four birds into the aviary by children from the nearby St George’s Beneficiary School.

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lynne Stagg, was also there for the relaunch.

Andy Fraser, former city councillor and Lord Mayor’s Consort, set up the Portsmouth Aviary Project and believes it is an ideal scheme for volunteers to work with the council.

He said: ‘Keeping birds has been a lifelong interest of mine. I used to walk past the aviary and I could see a section was run down.

‘I thought it was an ideal project for a voluntary group to take up and work with the council.

‘The plan is that it’s a school children’s project.

‘They can come to the aviary and adopt a pair of birds.’

The birds are all Australian grassfinches and include zebra finches and diamond firetails.

They have all been bred in the UK and none of them has been taken from the wild.

More birds will be brought to the aviary over time.

And Andy said he hopes the newly refurbished part of the aviary can benefit children.

‘I’m really pleased with it. It’s a lovely facility,’ he added.

‘For the children I believe they can learn the responsibility of looking after an animal.

‘They can learn the science around it. And they can learn that we are mortal.

‘Things come and go and live and die. There’s lots of learning there.’

Andy helped kick-start the project with donations from well wishers, and is now looking for a team of volunteers who might like to spend a bit of their spare time helping to ensure the birds thrive.

If you would like to find out more about the project or get involved call Andy on 07702 286392 or email andyfraser@btconnect.com.