It need not be bad news when fascias & soffits are replaced

Debbie Tann, CEO of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, has had a pair of Swifts nesting at the front of her house for many years and because of this she had been putting off the necessary fascia and soffit repairs. When the repairs to the badly rotten fascias and soffits could not be put off any longer, she began the task of trying to find the right company to do the work. Many fascia companies, even if they know what the law is regarding nesting birds, have a poor record on adherence. Debbie is passionate about Swifts and was very keen to find a sympathetic company so as not to lose the Swifts, or indeed the House Sparrows who also nest on her property.

Debbie’s house with the old and rotten fascias, soffits and gable panels removed.
Debbie’s house with the old and rotten fascias, soffits and gable panels removed.

The company she selected to carry out the work was Fascia Division who have branches around central southern England. They stood out from the others in understanding the problem, and they agreed to fit replacement fascias and soffits in a way that the existing nest site could be retained, and they would incorporate some new ones as well.

The work needed to be carried before the nesting season had started and, for the Sparrows at least, that seems to be getting earlier as our winters become milder through climate change. So the work was carried out on 9 Feb 2022, and fitters Martin and Dean did a great job on site with the work being carried out in just one day.

Dean and Martin – the fitters
Dean and Martin – the fitters

Debbie contacted Hampshire Swifts for advice, and we thought initially that it might be possible to incorporate some eaves S bricks while the work was being done. In the event however, due to the positioning of the hidden timberwork, that wasn’t necessary, and six additional nest sites were created by simply cutting holes 65mm wide x 30mm deep at the back of the soffit against the brickwork. This was in addition to the existing nest site, which was retained.

Access to existing Swift nest
Access to existing Swift nest

A rodent had chewed its way through part of the old fascia at some point and it looked as if House Sparrows had been accessing here from the gutter to build their nest. The two nest boxes that Sparrows had started to use on the front of the house will be repositioned at the rear when we return to put up boxes in March.

New nest access points cut at the back of the soffit
New nest access points cut at the back of the soffit

Debbie is really pleased with the work, and is now the proud owner of seven Swift nest sites in her roof. She has also inspired many of her neighbours to add Swift nest boxes to their properties and Hampshire Swifts will be fitting around 20 new boxes to the area in March to help boost the local population.


The finished works - barely visible unless you know the holes are there!
The finished works - barely visible unless you know the holes are there!

If you are thinking of having your fascias and soffits replaced with uPVC and want to help our rapidly declining urban birds then get free advice from Hampshire Swifts and do contact Fascia Division for a quotation on 0800 0327242, or through their website - www.fasciadivision.co.uk.

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