Make Buxton the Swift capital of Derbyshire, Civic Association says
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World Swift Day (WSD) is a global celebration of the Swift, whose very survival is threatened mainly by a lack of places to nest.
But it only takes a little bit of planning to create homes for swifts, who can spend as long as 18 months without landing and even sleep in the air.
“The BCA ambition is to make Buxton Derbyshire’s swift capital,” said Simon Fussell, who is leading the project. “It’s about making people aware that if they are doing any renovations or changes to their roofs, they can help make a home for swifts quite easily.
“Special bricks are available which are designed specifically as nests for swifts, who do no damage to property and don’t leave any mess around their nests. We are also hoping to encourage property developers and the local council to get involved.”
World Swift Day, an initiative of Swifts Without Frontiers, gives everyone the chance to collaborate and celebrate these amazing yet little understood birds.
BCA are carrying out a town-wide swift count to try and establish the current population but they also need information on where swifts are nesting. To support this Lindsey Wakefield, Chair of BCA Biodiversity Group, has set up an online survey to enable people to log information on swift nest sites.
“It is really important to find out where they are nesting, so we can ensure that if the buildings are renovated, we can offer alternative nesting sites close to the original site.”
If you want to help swifts and you know of nesting sites then you can record the information at https://forms.gle/swxChAiNNBSgSkyD6.
“Even better would be to put up some nesting boxes,” said Simon.
“There is an excellent company in the Peak District, Peak Boxes that make and install a range of nesting boxes. Swifts do everything except lay eggs in the air. They collect stray bits of grass and feathers as they fly around and use this as nesting material. They make very little mess; in fact, you would hardly know they were there.”