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New Swift boxes on 6th Form Colleges

Hampshire Swifts has recently installed lots of Swift boxes on two Colleges here in Hampshire. The first were at Peter Symonds 6th Form College, Winchester and were instigated by Barrie Roberts, Biology Lecturer at the College.

A few pairs of Swifts have nested above the main entrance here since at least the 1960’s and likely long before that. Barrie has been passionate about ensuring that they continue to nest there and installed some boxes a few years back on the rear of an adjacent building. But without a call player they had not been used. Barrie contacted us earlier this year and we have recently installed a further six double M30 boxes and a call player. These have been funded by the College through a generous grant obtained from Hampshire Ornithological Society (HOS).

Four of the six new boxes at the rear of the Varley building, Peter Symonds College.
Four of the six new boxes at the rear of the Varley building, Peter Symonds College.

The other College is Barton Peveril 6th Form College inEastleigh where the Head of Music David Coggins has been instrumental in driving this project forward. Hampshire Swifts have recently installed four double boxes and six single boxes with a call player. These have been funded by the College. During the installation, up to ten Swifts were observed flying overhead feeding, as the older housing estates just to the north and to the south of the College both have colonies. When installing boxes on plain walls with no eaves we always run a line of sealant along the top of the box to prevent water running down the back.

Roger Maynard and David Coggins
Roger Maynard and David Coggins

Hampshire Swifts have installed many other boxes around Eastleigh in the last three years coordinated both by Debbie Tann MBE, CEO of HIWWT, and Abri, a housing association based in the south of England with 35,000 homes.

Many thanks to all who have helped and been involved in these projects.

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