Wivey Grows is officially launched!

The Swift Project

08 March 24 - by Paul Davey

The Swift Project headed up by Rich Lawrence.

Swifts are in serious decline - 60% between 1995 and 2020 and one issue is the loss of suitable nesting sites since many houses now have access points filled in. House Martins are in an even more precarious situation.

Swifts are changing their behaviour in the way they nest. They return to the same spot from where they fledged but in Wivey sites are now being used at both ends of the season. One pair produces young and then returns to South Africa and a different pair then use the nest at the end of the season due to not finding a suitable space earlier in the season, but these later nests are not always successful, so more sites are needed.

Wivey has a healthy colony which could help grow the species as a whole. The long-term project would look for people to volunteer their houses where boxes can be put up. Last winter Rich collaborated with Wivey Grows to build some swift boxes which were put up on the Brewery site but these were unsuccessful. 20-30 boxes could be made by spring and the more boxes that are put up the more opportunity there will be for successful breeding as they won’t all be used. Swifts like to nest together in colonies, so they would be put near where others are nesting, at least 2m above the ground, preferably 4m, and away from direct sun as that can kill fledglings. They also need an areal runway, a big wide open space in front so they can swoop in. Swifts only land to nest and youngsters won’t land for 3 years.

Stage 1 is to get volunteer buildings, stage 2 to assess them, stage 3 to put boxes up

For more information please contact:

The Swift Project: Rich Lawrence: rich.lawrence29@gmail.com