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10 years after?

Most Swift groups focus on protecting existing nest sites and providing additional nest sites for Swifts. The nature of Swift conservation is such that the results of projects may not be seen for many years and, with some notable exceptions, we have little information on how successful our work has been over the long term.

Nearly 10 years ago New Forest District Council (NFDC) started renovating the North Milton estate in New Milton. Acting on poor advice the contractors blocked off virtually all the access points used by a colony of Swifts, effectively stopping the entire colony from breeding in 2011. By 2012, acting on much better advice, NFDC started to install Swift boxes and create new soffit nest sites but this work was delayed so only a few sites were available for the 2012 breeding season.

Until now the long-term consequences of these drastic actions have never been assessed. In the summer of 2020, Hampshire Swifts surveyed this site and the results are provided here: New Milton survey 2020

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