Posted: Sat 22nd Jun 2024

Wrexham Council Partners with North Wales Trust to Boost Swift Population for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

Wrexham Council have partnered with the North Wales Trust to help boost the swift population.

Swifts are the fastest birds in level flight and spend almost all of the year entirely in the air, flying millions of miles in a lifetime as they repeat their summer migration from Africa to Europe each year to breed.

For many, the sight of swifts’ crescent wings and their distinctive high-pitched calls heralds the start of summer.

But swifts are thought to be one of Wales’ most declined birds, with a 72% decrease since 1995.

This decline is thought to be due to a combination of reduced insect abundance, which means less food for swifts, as well as a significant loss of suitable nest sites.

As big old trees have largely been lost from our landscape over thousands of years, swifts made the switch from nesting in tree-holes to nesting in holes in buildings.

Older buildings often get renovated so established nests get removed and holes get blocked up.

New-build house designs usually lack the holes, nooks and crannies within which swifts can make nests.

Wrexham Council has now partnered with the North Wales Wildlife Trust to place 100 nest boxes in sustainable locations across the county.

Some of the nest boxes will also incorporate speakers that play the sound of swifts calling because this is known to help attract swifts.

Sarah Ellis, North Wales Wildlife Trust’s Living Landscape Officer, said: “Swifts are such wonderful birds but are in urgent need of help.

“We are so delighted to be able to deliver this project with Wrexham County Borough Council and with Swift Awareness Week starting on 29th June it’s great to be playing our part in swift conservation.”

Lead Member Terry Evans, Wrexham County Borough Council, said: “Increasing nest sites for these birds is essential for their recovery and we are very pleased to be able to have this Welsh Government funding to be able to fund this project.

“It is one of a number of important projects we are delivering through our Local Places For Nature funding to assist nature recovery in the county.”

Swifts often nest near to other swifts so if you know of existing swift nest sites please contact the North Wales Wildlife Trust as it might help us locate the best sites in the county for new swift nest boxes.

If you are interested in helping us to save swifts in Wrexham, the North Wales Wildlife Trust will be running two free events where you can learn all about swifts and how to help us record and monitor them.

The events will be at Plas Pentwyn Resource Centre, Coedpoeth on the 10 July and at Kenyon Hall in Holt on the 16 July, both starting at 7:00 PM.

Each event will be a talk on these birds followed by a walk for those wanting to see the birds for real, weather permitting.

Places are limited so please book to attend through the North Wales Wildlife Trust website under Days Out.

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