Imagine the scene...
Swifts arcing and wheeling in the skies above Intu, The High Street, Vicarage Road and across town. What an uplifting and inspiring sight that would be.
This tenacious bird is fighting for its survival and local people, building owners, managers, developers, architects and the council all have the opportunity to help keep this summer visitors in our skies simply and at amazingly little cost.
All over Europe local communities and planners are doing their bit to encourage the Swifts to keep returning to their nesting habitats each year but so often those habitats are being destroyed unintentionally as roofs and soffits are replaced, repaired, insulated and gaps and apertures stopped up where previously the birds had access to nest space.
Swifts spend their entire lives on the wing, travelling thousands of miles each year from the UK to South Africa and back, returning in the summer months to the same nest to raise their young. They are amazing to see as they wheel across the skies harvesting bugs and insects on the wing. But sadly if their access to their nesting sites are stopped up they are very reluctant to nest elsewhere and as a result their numbers are dramatically in decline.
The RSPB and Swift experts like Edward Mayer at Swift Conservation want your help to reverse their decline. Nesting boxes can help. They can be installed in domestic properties, high rises, church towers, offices and public spaces. When roofs and soffits are being replaced help and advice is available to ensure alternative arrangements for Swifts can be provided. More often than not their nest access is denied without anyone meaning to. So, if you are planning a new build or a refurbishment, or simply would like to do your bit to encourage these fabulous birds and to help them to survive, why not contact Swift Conservation or the RSPB for advice? It costs very little to install a nest box privately and for larger organisations it's a great way to fulfil their obligations to the wider community.