Help us make a home for swifts at Barlborough

Help us make a home for swifts at Barlborough

We intend to install wooden boxes for swifts to nest in with webcams in our church tower at St James Barlborough so that people can view their activity online. This is a great opportunity for young and old to enjoy watching these fascinating birds and contribute to their conservation.

You can help! £35 pays for a box, £50 for a camera. Please donate what you can by visiting this link: or writing a cheque payable to St James Church Barlborough (with Swift Appeal written on the back).

Swifts are astonishing birds, travelling from Africa to nest in the UK for just 3 months in the height of the summer. Unfortunately, these birds are in serious trouble and have declined in number by over 50% in the last 20 years. The single biggest cause of their decline is the removal of their nest sites when holes in buildings are blocked up. When houses are re-roofed, their numbers plummet as the birds are very site-faithful.

Churches make great homes for Swift colonies. The birds make no mess and unlike pigeons or House Martins, they do not defecate near the nest. They don’t even build a nest or carry nest material as such, they just need access to a small cavity.

This project comprises of a sustainably-sourced wooden nesting chamber situated behind the louvres of the clock tower window. The chamber will have 8 compartments and prospecting Swifts will be attracted by means of a sound lure. The bespoke-fit nesting solution will provide nesting opportunities to a red-listed species of conservation concern. The supplier is a Derbyshire based family-run company.

If successfully occupied, webcams in the boxes can allow online access to everyone. A livestream in church can be accessed by visitors and school groups can be hosted at a birdwatching event, where children can learn about bird migration and the impact of humans on breeding birds. Birds can be monitored as part of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) ringing scheme, to provide valuable data for the study of species population changes.


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