Safe as houses: where to buy dovecotes
and are able to fend for themselves. Then, the whole cycle starts all over again—unless the sparrowhawk, the mortal enemy of doves, has interfered.
It saddens me that the practice of keeping doves has become less common. Although the sight of a lone dovecote, especially in rural areas, isn’t unusual, it still comes as a shock when you see the birds in residence or gathered on a rooftop nearby. Could it be that we’re disinterested, thanks to the dominance of pet cats and dogs, or perhaps we just don’t know enough about it.
Whatever the reason, surely now is a good time to encourage a resurgence, especially in urban gardens, where the little white angels could give so much visual pleasure, surprise and interest to owners, families and passers-by? I can only hope that some readers will feel inspired to feather their nests. Nottinghamshire family business The Dovecote Co handcrafts a range of post-mounted and wall-mounted dovecotes plus feed tables and homing boxes. Dovecotes from £105 (0115–953 1167; www.thedovecoteco.co.uk)
With Saville’s Dovecotes, you can choose your shade of Farrow & Ball paint. From £425 (www.dove-cotes. co.uk; 01924 471755) Welsh Dovecotes has rather endearing miniature country-house-style creations —The Himbleton (above) features a timber-shingled roof. From £55 (029– 2021 2779; www.welshdovecotes.co.uk)
As well as traditional dovecotes, Kent-based animal- and bird-housing specialist Granddad Rob Designs offers one based on the Brighton Pavilion (right) and another in the style of a Chinese pagoda. From £700 (www. granddadrobdesigns. co.uk; 01233 822457)
Low maintenance but highly romantic, doves are a heart-warming addition to any garden