HOME FROM HOME: Richard Green and David Martin put up the bird boxes in Cotherstone
HOME FROM HOME: Richard Green and David Martin put up the bird boxes in Cotherstone

VILLAGERS are taking swift action to help protect a bird species that is in decline due to building demolition, renovation and roof repairs.
A group of residents in Cotherstone has made and installed 16 boxes for swifts. They have been put up for free by builder Richard Green on houses on the south side of the village. Studies show that the British population of swifts declined by 51 per cent between 1995 and 2015. A reduction in nest sites has been blamed.
Yvonne Butterfield, who has been helping to co-ordinate the efforts, said: “We’re trying to draw them into the village. We do have swifts but they are mostly at the other end of Cotherstone.
“The birds are becoming more scarce – more people block up their eaves nowadays, old buildings are being renovated and there are new building regulations. The birds return to their nesting sites but find they aren’t there. We are trying to give them somewhere to nest and an opportunity for young ones.”
The team also includes David Martin and Barry Watson. They produced leaflets asking for people to host a nest box on their home. They weren’t short of offers, said Ms Butterfield. She added: “Word of mouth has got round and people are asking for them. The swifts arrived last week. They’ll be looking for nests from mid-May, or doing reconnaissance for somewhere next year.”
The volunteers, who are maintaining social distancing, will use a speaker to play a recorded call to entice the birds to the boxes. They have also followed wildlife guidance to carry out their project.
To do something similar can visit www.rspb.org.uk or https://swift-conservation.