Are your swifts under threat?
Many established swift colonies are being lost through building demolition, renovation and roof repair.
Nest sites under threat
Where new developments are taking place, or buildings must be demolished to be replaced with new buildings, or are being renovated, it is worth reminding your local authority planning department of their obligations to protect and promote biodiversity in the built environment. Some authorities and many individuals are already doing a lot for swifts in this way and with the right kind of dialogue many more can be encouraged to champion the cause on behalf of swifts.
You can help by checking for planning applications on your local authority website and using one of the appropriate letter templates and write to ask they take swifts into consideration
In the breeding season (May – August)
If any work is likely to cause immediate threat to a colony in the breeding season, inform the contractor nesting swifts are present and that they are legally protected.
Advise them to immediately stop any work that impacts on the birds and ask for contact details of the supervising officer and the contracting authority or organisation. Contact them directly to raise their awareness of the situation.
If you feel work is not going to stop, you can report the case to your local police Wildlife Crime Officer. They can talk to the contractor and the supervising authority or organisation to safeguard the birds for the nesting season.
New buildings of any kind, even steel warehouses, can be designed to provide swift nesting sites.
It is worth reminding the council planning department of their obligations to protect and promote biodiversity in the built environment. Some local authorities and individuals are already doing a lot for swifts.
Where buildings must be demolished, encourage the local authority to mitigate by providing a new site nearby. If this is in place before the buildings are demolished, it may be possible to lure the birds to the new site before the old one is lost.