Swifts are nesting in our neighbourhood and need our help!
Last year I set up Forest Hill & Lewisham Borough Swift Group to try and help our local swifts and raise general awareness about them. Swifts are amazing birds that come to the UK from Africa every summer to nest. They sleep and eat on the wing and almost never stop flying, only ever landing to nest when they get to us!
We used to get loads of swifts in SE23 but their numbers have really declined, as they have across the UK. This is mainly due to loss of nest sites through roof repairs, building renovations and demolition of old buildings. Swifts have been sharing our buildings with us ever since the Roman times due to loss of ancient forest.
There have been active swift colonies in SE23 ever since I can remember but their numbers are falling every year, down by 40-50%! Our aim is to provide new sites in SE23 and across the Lewisham Borough and help protect old ones. We know of a precious swift colony in Wynell Road which has been there for at least over 30 years and they are really struggling due to all the repairs in the area. This is one of our priority areas. This is our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1700377583561148/ where you can find out more. Please join and let us know if you see any swifts or want to put up nest boxes on your house or public building.
On a very positive note Lewisham Homes have agreed to let us put up swift boxes on any of their suitable buildings and Breyer Group will be installing them. This is great to hopefully help boost the numbers of this beautiful bird in our locality and protect our communities biodiversity. I’ve set up a crowdfunding page to help raise money to fund the boxes. If anyone could donate or help spread the message to make it a success, this the link to the crowdfunding page
As well as people and businesses / churches / libraries / schools willing to put boxes up in SE23 on their buildings, we are also looking for local friendly builders who could give us advice on installing nest boxes on high buildings.