Four swift nest boxes have been made by children from Alfriston Primary School using marine plywood. They were installed behind the louvres in the upper part of the flint tower of the church on 2nd May 2017, around the time that Swifts arrive back in the UK from their winter migration to sub-Saharan Africa.

A recording of the swift call, a screeching sound, is played in the early in the morning to try and attract swifts to these new boxes. It may be a couple of years before the birds establish their territory and use the nest boxes.

The project is a response to the decline in swift numbers in the UK thought to be a result in the decline in suitable nesting places. This is a result of improvements to old buildings and new building design. Swifts nest in gaps in the roof of a building or crevices in a wall. The population was estimated at 80,000 in 1990 and is thought to have declined by 50% since then.

A PDF giving more information about the project can be found here.
Details of the school’s Ascension Day visit can be found here.

Alfriston School and Berwick Church Swift Conservation Project 2017

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