Wildlife enthusiasts at a nature reserve drafted in Army reinforcements to help build a new nesting bank for sand martins.
Troops from St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham volunteered to help the Leicester and Rutland Wildlife Trust create the new structure at Rutland Water Nature Reserve.
The location of the bank is inaccessible by road, so soldiers carried 1,400 breeze blocks by hand to the site.
Trust staff and volunteers are now busy building the bank, which will be the second at the reserve, in time for migrating sand martins to return from Africa in March.
Reserve officer Lloyd Park said: “The army did a fantastic job. We wouldn’t have been able to do it anywhere near as easily without them.
“It is a partnership that could help the reserve.”
The reserve’s first bank was built in 1999 and has proved very popular with nesting birds.
Last year 211 pairs were spotted using the bank.