Together with Ribble Valley Borough Council, we've been working with local businesses to stop the decline of swifts and swallows in the area.
New nesting opportunities in Ribble Valley
Local businessman Andrew O'Neill put in nesting opportunities for both species when repointing above his shop in Berry Lane, Longridge.
The borough is using the planning process to protect the habitats of declining urban birds. The borough council is now telling developers to preserve sites in existing buildings and incorporate new nesting opportunities in new developments. Countryside Officer David Hewitt told the Garstang Courier: 'If there is evidence that birds under concern are nesting in a building, planning conditions can be used to ensure the nests are protected'.
Gavin Thomas, RSPB Conservation Officer has been working with the project said 'This project could boost the numbers of these two declining species in the area, without compromising the responsibilities or finances of developers. We urge other councils to follow Ribble Valley's lead'.
The work is continuing with Ribble Valley Borough Council with June 2014 seeing the agreement of 200 new homes in East Lancashire being built that will have permanent internal swift nest bricks built into the walls of these new houses. David Hewitt told the Lancashire Evening Post 'That it is such a simple measure to incorporate swift bricks into new builds and it will help to ensure that these fantastic birds still have places to nest and will continue to grace Ribble Valley’s skies for years to come'.
Swift boxes have also been fitted to the outside of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s offices and Ribble Valley Homes Housing Association properties.