To herald the swift season and to give an update on PeCAN's Swift Streets project, Catharine Gale of Hampshire Swifts gave an uplifting talk this week to an eager audience at Petersfield Museum. The evening was introduced and chaired by PeCAN Trustee Melanie Oxley.

Swifts have declined more than 50% over the past 20 years, partly due to climate change and the associated loss of insect life - insects are the protein source of the swift's diet - but also due to a loss of suitable nesting sites owing to "improvements" to older buildings and draft proofing measures in new builds.

The solution? Install a swift box! Hampshire Swifts will install a single nest box for £40 and a double nest box for £75, once the suitability of your home has been established. 120 boxes have already been installed in and around Petersfield under this scheme, with more requests made after the talk about these fascinating birds, at Petersfield Museum on 16th April.

A proposal to add swift boxes to the belltower of St. Peter's Church in Petersfield has been met with approval and awaits a decision from the Hampshire Diocese.

At the talk, Catharine emphasised the important partnership between Hampshire Swifts and PeCAN, and she praised the PeCAN supporter who inspired the Swift Streets project. Having persuaded many of her neighbours to adopt a swift box, Penns Road is our first 'Swift Street', with 24 boxes installed. Helen Littlejohn aims to emulate this in Osborne Road - she explained how she leafletted her neighbours and had four sign up for a swift box. Other Swift Streets are Station Road and Kennett Road with more than three boxes in each.   

Find out more about the Swifts Street project and register your interest in a swift box here.  


With their arrival imminent, it's eyes to the skies!