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A new house with Swift boxes

Back in mid-September last year I went with Rachel Hardy to the 2023 Wilder Conference and Awards organised by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. I always enjoy going to these sort of events, not just for the interesting talks but for the great and passionate folk that you meet.

I was introduced to Stephen Bailey. We chatted for a while and he told me that he was building a new house near Damerham in the west of Hampshire. He invited me over to see how the project was progressing and to discuss the hand-made integral Swift boxes that he was starting to build in. The house was being clad externally with oak boarding. I visited the following month and it was great to meet his family. I suggested that the gable would be a great place to add many more boxes and Stephen then set to and did just that.

The house is now nearing completion and the scaffold is being dismantled.

And there are now twenty five spacious new Swift boxes built in, all with nest cups inside, and a call player set up and ready to be turned on at the start of May.

The whole family is passionate about wildlife and Stephen has dug two new ponds near the house with trail cams to monitor the comings and goings of the local wildlife. A nearby nest box had been well and truly taken over by hornets in 2023 and was still being actively visited by the adults.

Well done Stephen and I’m sure it won’t be too long before Swifts find this very des res home and we look forward to getting updates on progress.

Tim Norriss

Hampshire Swifts

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