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Work with swift groups saves local swift colony

On the morning of 10 June 2022 our Advocacy Officer Ian Cracknell joined local swift group representatives Laura Lian (S6 Swifts) and Aimee Ambrose (Walkley and Crookes Swift Group) at a house in Crookes, following concerns from a local resident about newly erected scaffolding on a house which had previously hosted swift nests.

The scaffolding was observed on the day to be preventing swifts entering their nest sites, which a local ornithologist had also visited the site to confirm earlier that morning. Whilst on site, Ian also observed house sparrows entering under the eaves of the building’s roof. The scaffolders were unaware of birds nesting in the building or that this was an issue they might encounter.

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to disturb or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built.

Following an urgent call to South Yorkshire Police, Wildlife Crime Officer Dan Richardson and one of his colleagues joined us at the site.

Following discussions with the scaffolding company and the property management company responsible for the house, the scaffolders agreed to remove the scaffolding to a level below the nest sites and the management company the planned redecorating would not recommence until mid-August at the earliest when swifts will have left the nest sites.

This is a fantastic result for this important local swift nesting site and shows that where there are threats to swift colonies, good teamwork between local people alongside the support that Wildlife Crime Officers can can help to stop impacts on nesting sites.

If you have any concerns about swifts, their nesting sites or any other wildlife, please email us at takeaction@wildsheffield,com or call 0114 263 4335.

To find out more about swifts and details of local swift groups, click here.