Harbury project aims to have large numbers of swifts flying in the village again
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Harbury residents are hoping that large numbers of swifts will soon be flying in the village again thanks to a community intiative launched last year.
In 2022, Harbury Parish Council enthusiastically agreed to give practical aid for swift conservation through generous funding to provide and install nest boxes throughout the village.
The Harbury Swift Project was initiated by villager Amanda Randall in response to the visible decline in the number of swifts which nest in and around the village during the warmer months of the year.
Amanda said: “It has been wonderful that so many have offered their properties to give Swifts a home, as well as purchasing additional boxes to help build a colony in their neighbourhood.
“We have now installed more than 50 swift nest boxes and where a choice of sites had to be made, data from the RSPB’s Swiftmapper website and local knowledge of past nest sites, helped inform the best place for the boxes.”
Members of the village branch of the national Men’s Shed charity group have built the boxes, which have been inscribed by local carpenter Craig Knowles of Phoenix Craft Creations.
Other villagers including parish councillor Alex Potter, who co-ordinated the installations, Chris Beaton, who carried out the majority of the work, and Richard Linforth with his cherry picker machine, have contributed to the project.
Harbury Parish Council clerk Alison Biddle said: ““The Parish Council has funded the boxes and the installation work and provided some logistical support but it is really the residents of Harbury to whom we are most grateful for embracing Amanda’s initiative and volunteering to host the boxes on their properties.
"We are looking forward to seeing the results.
"After a 6,000-mile journey from Africa, swifts will soon be returning to Harbury where they will discover a wonderful selection of bespoke new homes awaiting them.
“This is a long-term project for Harbury and we very much hope that over the next few years Swifts will select some of these boxes to nest in.”