When people say Hamish Burnett is “for the birds”, it’s a real compliment. There’s nothing flighty about the Hackney Swifts, the small, but growing, flock of enthusiasts with whom he collaborates to encourage the preservation and creation of swift nesting habitats. Three years ago, the group began organising local events to install swift boxes for the vanishing insect-gobblers who promote biodiversity in their travels from sub-Saharan Africa to Spain and France, before breeding in the summer in the UK and across Europe. Migratory numbers to the UK have declined by 50% since 1994, says Hamish, and could be non-existent in 10-20 years, due to refurbishment of Victorian and Georgian properties and hermetically-sealed modern buildings. Hackney Swifts fuels community spirit through hands-on involvement for all ages. Last year, for the first UK Swift Awareness Week, a pub crawl saw a team of 30 identify seven new nesting sites.
Show your support!
Live bird nests have legal protection, but nest sites do not. Swallows, Swifts and Martins return to the same nesting site year after year. If these nesting sites are destroyed, with few alternatives available, local extinctions are likely. Sign this petition to grant legal protection to Swallow, Swift and Martin nest sites not just nests petition.parliament.uk/petitions