Local Community groups being set up in Sheffield to help protect Swifts.

10 February 2022

New community groups in Sheffield have been set up to help a rare breed of birds which are at risk of extinction.

Swifts are now classed as a globally threatened breed, and have seen their numbers cut in half in the last 20 years.

The Sheffield S11 Swifts are one of the many community groups who are hoping to protect swift colonies and nest sites.

Nicola Gilbert, a member of the S11 Swifts, said: “We don’t usually have a lot of control over birds, but with Swifts, we can actually make a difference and help them. What’s special about these birds is that we can do something.

“They live on the wing and the only time they touch down is when they touchdown to nest.”

The S11 Swifts are encouraging the public to report any sightings to the RSPB Swift Survey, as it will assist planners and developers in ensuring that nest sites are not interfered with.

By leaving the existing nest sites undisturbed and avoiding work on properties that may house the endangered species, the S11 Swifts group claim this will protect the breeding process. They also advise if you find any nests, do not disturb them.

A collection of badges that the community use to help spread awareness.

In addition to the S11 Swift Community Group, the S6 Swifts have searched and assisted in new home development schemes in the North of Sheffield. The River Don has become an ideal site for the birds and the S6 group has assisted the construction development team in protecting the species despite there being heavy construction.

Mel Savas, member of the S6 Swifts Sheffield, said: “It is just a general love for nature and being aware of it. It’s not just about providing Swifts with a box, it’s about growth too.”

A image captured of two swifts within a nest house.

National Nest Box week, which commenced on February 14 aims to spread awareness and encourage the public to plant nest boxes in their local area.

In addition to supporting the cause online, swift communities plan to target schools to seek aid in their cause. If you wish to learn more about the communities and their work, you can access S11’s page here.

 

Written by Rupal Mundhra

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