Swifts are a migratory bird found in the UK and are in great need of our help, having declined in number by 58% from our skies in the last 25 years, in part due to a loss of suitable nesting sites. These charming birds are summer visitors to our country and spend almost their entire lives in the air, even sleeping on the wing! Each year, swifts undertake a huge journey from Africa after spending the winter there, and Kent is one of the first places they encounter.
To help support their numbers and improve biodiversity on and around the school grounds, we decided to put up swift nest boxes on our school buildings, so that swifts can raise their chicks here. We set out to decide where it would be best to position the swift boxes during last year’s breeding season and we saw that swifts were already nesting in A Block. We’ve been kindly given £2,000 by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and we have bought a total of 25 swift boxes and have hired a cherry picker the caretakers used to put up the boxes.
Each of the boxes will be facing North or North-East so they aren’t in direct sunlight, and they were installed during the Easter Holidays - just in time for the swifts’ return from Africa during early May. As swifts mate for life and return to the same nesting sites each year we will be providing them with long term homes. It is only a matter of time before we see even more swifts moving in and calling Sir Roger Manwood’s School their home!