The exciting, aerobatic, screeching flights of swifts over Buriton has traditionally been a sign that summer has arrived.

But, as in many parts of the country, swifts are increasingly in trouble as changes are made to buildings which block up or remove their nest sites.

Sitings of swifts in Buriton have declined markedly in the last few years.

Buriton Parish Council therefore launched a ‘Save the Swifts’ initiative in 2022, encouraging villagers to have nest box fitted to their homes to help these beautiful and charismatic birds.

Arrangements were made with the local charitable organisation Hampshire Swifts to come to the village and fit the boxes this spring.

Buriton has an added connection with swifts as it is probable that many of these amazing birds will have travelled through Ghana on their way to and from their winter homes each year. Buriton has had special links with the rural community of Dominase in the far north of the Central Region of Ghana for twenty years, increasing awareness of living conditions there and providing a wide range of support. Now that support is being extended to the swifts as well so, hopefully, Buriton will retain this fascinating connection with Ghana!

The recent project has resulted in over 30 boxes being fitted on houses across the village – and also on the village hall where four boxes have been installed along with a call player which is used from May to July to attract birds to the area.

The Parish Council has also ensured that all the new houses currently being built on the development site in the village will have swift bricks installed during construction – as well as bee bricks and bat tiles for other important creatures (and air source heat pumps and solar panels for the humans!)

As the Hampshire Swifts charity explains: if we are going to save our swifts in this part of Hampshire, we need to be getting lots of boxes up!

If you live in Petersfield and want to request a swift box for your house, please fill out a form here.