Swift nesting boxes scheme... help or advice appreciated

Hi all

We’re lucky in SE23 to have a returning swift population every year, but even in the 9 years I’ve been here I’ve noticed it dwindling (except in 2020 when it seemed to be higher than usual).

Given their recent and very concerning move to Red List status on the RSPB’s measurements of how bird populations are faring (we’ve lost over 55% of our swifts since 1995 and Red List status means we’re in danger of totally losing them), I’d like to try to make a small but modest difference and offer 10 nesting boxes to houses with suitable, north-facing locations. I’d pay for the boxes and installation and would try to get in direct contact with those houses which seem most suitable (and on roads where I’ve seen swifts).

What I really need, if anyone knows anyone suitable, is a reliable and trustworthy person with very long ladders, very basic tools (nest boxes are very easy to install, the height is the main difficulty) and some kind of public liability insurance in place in case they accidentally damage a property on installation.

I can try all the usual checkatrade sites etc but given this is a bit of an unusual job spec I just thought if anyone knows anyone suitable for this kind of work, possibly a local and possibly even a bird-friendly local, it might help get this off the ground.

Thanks in advance!

John

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If you are on Facebook there is a Lewisham Swifts group where I think someone helped with installing nestboxes.

It’s also important to play a certain sound / call which attracts the swifts for the next boxes, and it can take a few years for them to be used I believe.

I’ll see if I can find anything else out later.

Edit, this might help:

https://www.swift-conservation.org/Local_Help_and_Assistance.htm

Just put swift group into se23life search tool at top and see previous threads.

That sounds like a job for a local window cleaner.

We are based just behind the tube station and would love to have a swift box. Although I don’t recall many Swift’s above us, the back garden is north facing.

Please let me know.

Kind regards

Thanks for this - I’ve emailed the Lewisham Swifts contact and will see if anything comes back.

There used to be loads of swift nests under the eaves of the older houses all around FH when I was a kid but people started putting nets up to deter them; any idea why? Would it have been noise or mess or insects?