Many of the talks and displays organised by Hampshire Swifts are hosted by organisations sympathetic to our conservation aims such as local natural history groups, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Hampshire Ornithological Society etc. The importance of communicating with like-minded people cannot be underestimated in our mission to raise awareness of the dire plight of our Swifts
However, in a reference to last week's blog, there remain many other sections of the community which have yet to be fully exposed to our message. To start to address this, Hampshire Swifts bravely sent representatives into London on Thursday to assist Dick Newell of Action for Swifts who had arranged a display stand at the Futurebuild 2020 exhibition in conjunction with Edward Mayer and Stephan de Beer of Genesis Nest Boxes. This exhibition is an opportunity to speak to developers, architects, ecologists and other professionals in the building industry and show them how easy it is to build spaces for wildlife into new developments, specifically through the integration of Swift bricks into brickwork and soffits. Of the hundreds of exhibitors only one other, Green & Blue, had a similar aim.
Some good contacts were made although it is always difficult to quantify the success of such events. Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the day was that most visitors to the stand had some degree of understanding of the issues facing our wildlife and were all interested in seeing how easy, cheap and practical it is to include these spaces in new-builds. The challenge now is to convert this understanding into solid action on the ground such that it becomes a matter of routine that new developments include these simple but highly effective measures to conserve our Swifts and other wildlife.