From Rio Cross Residents’ Association
We are encouraged to insulate and modernise our homes to reduce our energy consumption and so help combat global warming, and new materials such as uPVC are low maintenance and long lasting, but in making these changes we may be unnecessarily shutting out many species that are entirely dependent on man-made structures to survive, including birds and bats. As a result of this, swifts have declined in the UK by 50% in the last twenty years. They urgently need to be provided with new nesting sites if they are able to breed when they return to the UK for their summer migration.
It is very exciting that some residents in John Campbell Road have recently installed bird boxes specifically designed to attract this species. The more that are installed the more likely they are to attract breeding pairs, as they prefer to live and breed in colonies. We have already seen some successes in Hackney and the nearby Mildmay ward of Islington, but rarely see the wonderful flying displays and enjoy their summer calls in our area. The boxes are very specific, and need to be installed at least 5m off the ground, ideally on a north facing wall or a shaded location. And they don’t require planning permission! Fortunately we have @hackney_swifts to help us get the installations right and increase the chance of success! They are currently offering to both supply and install boxes at cost for £30, but availability is limited! If you would like to help attract a new colony and can accommodate a box or two on your house, please email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will help co-ordinate your installation. They can also assist if you are making changes to your home and wish to include cheap and simple swift-friendly measures.
Some interesting information can be found here: