02 April 2020


I never envisaged this situation… 

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is certainly the biggest test of my lifetime and has made me look very closely at all those things and simple pleasures that I, along with many others, took for granted. 

As we approach almost two weeks of lockdown, it is fair to say that my family has had its fair share of challenges in trying to keep things normal, whilst being fully aware that the situation is far from it. Grocery shopping is now not knowing how long you will have to queue to gain entry to the store, looking at empty shelves which previously housed endless supplies of bread, pasta, flour and eggs, and all whilst being afraid to come within two metres of another human! Trips out for a meander around our beautiful Chiltern countryside have had to be put on hold, and calling in to visit friends or family for a cuppa is one that I will never take for granted again. My 10 minute commute to work has ceased. I miss the drive, the radio chatter and 80’s hits along the way, and most of all I miss the interaction with my Woodrow colleagues and customers. 

However, along with not being permitted to leave your home other than for essential trips, the biggest challenge is most definitely home schooling our eight year old son!  My husband and I realised by day two that if we continued to insist on a “like-for-like” school timetable it would quite quickly descend into chaos.  Thankfully, along with soothing and encouraging daily posts from the Headmistress, we have settled into an agreeable routine, and one which we feel is a good mix.  To quote from one of her daily posts, “When we welcome your children back, we will find a way to catch up, as our whole nation is in this together.  The priority has to be the health and wellbeing of all your family; it is not worth falling out over a task on a website.  I hope that you will see this as an opportunity to spend some quality time with your children doing what makes you all happy.”  

PE with Joe Wicks at 9:00am has become the norm Monday to FridayI’m not quite sure my legs agree... aren’t these sessions supposed to be for kids?! Maths, English and reading follow; punctuated by the odd snack break. Lunchtime allows us all to down tools for a bitbut the afternoon is where we have the most fun… 

This crisis has highlighted not just the need to be grateful for what we have, but also to be resourceful.  In true Blue Peter fashion, we are collecting up all manner of inane objects pushed to the back of the kitchen drawers or lolling about in the dusty, cavernous garage, and coming up with ideas (with the odd bit of guidance from Pinterest) on ways we can fashion them together and make something useful… 

… introducing our Welly Boot Bird Box! 

It’s inexpensive, easy and fun. All you need is:

  • A child’s welly boot
  • A sharp pair of scissors  
  • Some small pieces of wood 
  • A nut and bolt (approx. two inches long) 
  • A few wood screws or wood glue 
  • Paint (any colour of your choice)


  • Firstly, mark a circle on the front of the welly – not too big unless you’re hoping an albatross will settle in; in which case you’re going to need a bigger welly…
  • Carefully cut the hole out using your scissors. 
  • To form the roof, cut the wood into two pieces, each of 5 inches in length. Now join these together with wood screws (or glue) to form an upside down V (like in the photo).
  • Now drill or cut a very small hole in the front of the welly, just below the entrance hole. Insert the bolt and secure with a nut from the inside. 
  • Painting is optional, but we suggest that you paint the roof to protect from the elements.  
  • Find a suitable position for your bird box away from predators and loud noises, and secure to tree using wood screws. 


Be patient – the birds may be wary for a while (and they’ll need time to pack their suitcases!).

Share the love! Send photos of your completed Welly Boot Bird Boxes to our Facebook page @WoodrowHighHouse

Written by Nicky McKay