Birds infiltrate Wigan Army Reserve unit


A seven tonne Army truck has been ‘grounded’ after blackbirds took up home in it.

The MAN Support Vehicle is a monster off-road HGV capable of carrying up to 15 tonnes of equipment in any conditions, but soldiers at Wigan’s B Squadron Queen’s Own Yeomanry (QOY) have discovered it makes a great bird-house too. 4X-2015-008--17 small

The QOY is an Army Reserve Light Reconnaissance unit, part of the Royal Armoured Corps, which is trained to spot threats on the battlefield. Its soldiers used their skills to find the family of birds which took up home in the vehicle’s spare wheel housing.

The team at the Canal Street Army Reserve Centre are now keeping an eye on the birds as part of their routine checks in a project which has been nicknamed Operation ‘SPRINGWATCH’. 

Captain Jimmy Aspinall, administration officer for B Squadron, received the following email from his vehicle mechanics: “Sir, we are now the carers for a blackbird family that has set up home in the spare wheel section of the MAN Support Vehicle. This happy event has now rendered the vehicle ‘non-task worthy’ until the proud parents have raised their brood and flown the nest.”

Jimmy ordered the vehicle not be moved until the chicks had fledged. He said: “It’s not essential that we use this particular vehicle because we have others, so there’s been no need to disturb our new neighbours. We train for operations in both conflict and peace-time, but this shows that is not our only strength!”

For more information about B Sqn QOY and how you can get involved call 01942 242259 or visit

Reserve Forces