Save our Swifts: they need our help

save our swifts

SWT SAVRG logo landscape

Wonderful swifts

They are back from their 3,400 mile migration from Africa. Our swifts have returned and can be seen sweeping along village streets here in Storrington and across the Arun Valley with their familiar screaming cry.

For me there is no better sign that Summer is almost with us than the return of our swifts. Right now, they are searching for, or returning to, their nest sites. Later in the Summer they can be seen wheeling above our heads in their amazing acrobatic search for insects.

Our swifts need your help

Swifts have probably been nesting in spaces in the roofs of the older buildings of Storrington and surrounding villages for hundreds of years. However, they are now in serious decline nationally and this decline is visible locally too. This year numbers in Storrington are even lower than usual, with only 6-8 birds careering around the village centre.

Back from the Brink

The Sussex Wildlife Trust Storrington and Arun Valley Regional Group (SAVRG) is campaigning to Save our Swifts, before they disappear from the Arun valley altogether.

The Henfield Swift Project has managed to more than triple the number of nest sites in Henfield by encouraging their residents to install swift boxes. You can read about their project at:
www.henfieldbirdwatch.co.uk/henfield-swift-project/

We believe that if we work together across our village communities, we can bring local swift populations back from the brink, but we have to start now.

Please get in touch at swtstorringtonregion@gmail.com if:

  • You have seen swifts flying low whilst screaming through your village, or you know of a swift nest site in Storrington or our neighbouring villages across the Arun valley;
  • You would be willing to consider hosting a swift nest box on your property, especially if you live in a building close to your village centre (where swift nests tend to be located)
  • You have the expertise and would like to help installing swift boxes in the local area (N.B. you will need a ladder!)

We are aware that some local communities are already taking action for swifts so please check locally before you contact us. Of course, if you contact us and we know of a project in your area, we will pass on your information!

We are planning to seek funding to cover the costs of buying and installing swift nest boxes locally and will hopefully then be able to support any resident willing to offer a nest site.

Did you know swifts:

  • Sleep, eat, bathe and even mate on the wing, swifts rarely touch the ground
  • Are the fastest UK bird in level flight, with a top speed of 69mph
  • Can fly as high as 3,000m
  • Pair for life, returning to the same nest site each year

Let’s preserve swifts for future generations to enjoy their amazing story.

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