PWCF funding tackles decline in North Wales swift numbers
PWCF awarded a grant of £25,000 to the North Wales Wildlife Trust towards their work supporting swifts, a bird which migrates to Britain for 3 months of the year and is the fastest bird in level flight. Swift numbers have declined drastically in Wales in recent years, suffering a 57% decrease between 1995 and 2011, partly due to a loss of suitable buildings for nesting caused by buildings being refurbished.
The aim of this North Wales Wildlife Trust project was to increase local swift populations in key semi-urban places, such as Bangor, Holyhead and Wrexham. The North Wales Wildlife Trust worked with local communities, schools and businesses to address the decline in swift numbers in North Wales by
a) putting up nest boxes in appropriate locations,
b) educating people in the area about swifts and their breeding requirements, and
c) encouraging the counting of nesting swifts to increase existing knowledge about their nest sites.
During the course of the project, a total of 180 swift nest-boxes were installed on suitable buildings across North Wales, such as primary schools, secondary schools, University buildings, Heritage centre, Housing Associations flats and in some private properties.
The project has helped to raise the profile of swifts, and spread the message about how people can help address their decline. The practical work of engaging with owners of buildings and getting nest-boxes installed has resulted in many more swift nesting opportunities across the area, and 1,332 people have learnt more about the importance of swifts thanks to the awareness raising events.