top of page

New Swift boxes on All Saints CE School, Winchester

Updated: Apr 1

Installing Swift boxes on this Primary School at Highcliffe in Winchester has been on our ‘to do’ list for some time, but recently it has happened! Two pairs of Swifts already nest in natural sites at the school, one at the apex of the right-hand gable in the photo below and another on the north gable.

All Saints School, Highcliffe, Winchester
All Saints School, Highcliffe, Winchester

There are quite a few primary schools like this in Hampshire which have a very similar design, and on some others we have simply installed a double Model 30 box as high on the apex as possible, but here due to the existing nests we felt that installing something a little more bespoke would be better - and offer many more opportunities for Swifts to nest.

Double Swift box on St Leonards CE Primary School, Alton adjacent to St Leonards Church with its large colony of Swifts.
Double Swift box on St Lawrence CE Primary School, Alton adjacent to St Lawrence Church with its large colony of Swifts.

So earlier this month with help and guidance from Rachel Hardy, the brilliant Roger made and installed three new boxes on each side of the gable.


These boxes have been kindly funded by Catharine Gale. And this is just a start because there is opportunity to build the colony here even further. Catharine goes into the school sometimes with her therapy dog, Jasmine the beautiful Whippet, and Lynn Fomison has been in to read a story about Swifts to the 7-9 year-olds. This interpretation of the importance of their Swift colony to the children is something that we will address further before too long and will hopefully trigger a life-long interest and passion in some of the children to treasure and care for our wonderful urban birds.


Lally Hodan and Headteacher Jane Hall (right) thanking Catharine Gale (centre) for funding the boxes
Lally Hodan and Headteacher Jane Hall (right) thanking Catharine Gale (centre) for funding the boxes

And all this is happening while Gove sits on his hands and continues to fail our Swifts and other red-listed urban birds by not mandating a Swift brick to be installed in all new homes by developers.

Hannah Bourne-Taylor has now been on the case for the last 17 months with the Feather Speech which means the proposal is now 17 months more urgent. She writes ‘The Swifts will be on their way back home soon and without swift bricks there’s no guaranteed nesting habitat anywhere in the UK and there never will be.’ To be clear this is not due to ignorance. Gove used to be Secretary of State for the Environment and the problem for our urban birds has been spelled out to him on more than one occasion. It is hard not to believe that this is a deliberate dereliction of duty. Mandating the installation of a Swift brick in every new home would cost the public purse precisely zero and will over time solve the long-term problemof the loss of nest sites. We are told it could be done simply and without the need for new legislation. I wonder if the fact that developers have given the Tory party lots of money in the past has anything to do with it.

Hannah Bourne-Taylor with Zac Goldsmith and a £30 Swift ‘S’ brick
Hannah Bourne-Taylor with Zac Goldsmith and a £30 Swift ‘S’ brick

Tim Norriss

Hampshire Swifts

280 views

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page