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Swifts & How to encourage them in Tower Hamlets! Edward Mayer – London's Swifts.

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Presentation on theme: "Swifts & How to encourage them in Tower Hamlets! Edward Mayer – London's Swifts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Swifts & How to encourage them in Tower Hamlets! Edward Mayer – London's Swifts

2 Swifts dance in the sky, bring joy and life, and eat only insects! Dynamic! Dramatic! Beautiful! Exciting! Clean! Harmless! Beneficial! Easy & cheap to house!

3 Swifts see our buildings as crags or cliffs... places to breed in Many cliff and mountain birds have moved into our cities

4 But these types of nest place are vanishing fast in the UK & Europe too Swifts have nested in the eaves gaps in buildings for over 2000 years

5 Swifts are opportunists, and nest in any suitable hole Swifts nest just inside the building, usually right on the edge of the aperture. They occupy the space for 10 weeks each year.

6 Yet modern buildings usually exclude them New offices development in Finsbury Square, Moorgate

7 And essential repairs often evict Swifts for good Right - Housing Association re-roofing in West Hampstead Left – anti bird “brush” grilles for inserting in eaves

8 So Swifts are in major decline, and may soon be locally extinct In the past 12 years... Swifts in the UK a decrease of 29% Swifts in the South East a decrease of 53% and the next 12 years? Swifts lie dead after colliding with wrapped buildings, trying to regain their nests

9 What can we do? Build for Swifts as well as people ! Notting Hill Housing Assn / LB Barnet - New Barnet Sheltered Housing 2006

10 Swifts are clean, tidy and only here for 12 weeks each year You can download this drawing from our Web Site!

11 Swifts will move into new buildings, if they can get in! ART / Newlon The Arsenal Apartments 2006

12 Nestplaces are easy & cheap to fit! Schwegler and Ibstock Swift Nest Bricks – the former installed during the building of this care home

13 111 New Cavendish Street W1 Renovating Offices & Flats Adding penthouses to the building created an opportunity for both a “green roof” & nest places for birds and bats and Westminster's Planners took this opportunity, making nest places a planning requirement

14 With small additions this site will easily host benign birds & bats The boxes will be fitted within the plant areas on the roof ensuring privacy and low visibility to humans and predators

15 With a bit of care you can retain existing Swift nests too Wren Nest Mills in Derbyshire – converted to flats - retaining 22 Swift nests within its stone block walls

16 But Swifts don't have to nest in buildings..... Swift Towers - like this one - can be put up on almost any site

17 It's just as easy to help other great creatures Grey Wagtail Pipistrelle Bat Pied Wagtail Black Redstart

18 More choosy birds... You can attract House Martins – but ensure they have water, mud and abundant insects to make nests and feed their young

19 In fact you can attract the most amazing birds! Berberis bushes will provide berries for Waxwings to eat in Winter

20 And if Global Warming really takes off... Spanish Vultures have already made two attempts to fly to the UK...

21 NB it is vital to get the right advice before you start! London's Swifts training environmental consultants at Stirling University in 2007

22 Please Help Swifts! For more information see

23 This presentation and its contents are © copyright 2008 the author Edward Mayer and the photographers and may not be reproduced without their consent For further information please contact London's Swifts


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