The main objective is to retain swift colonies by safeguarding existing nest sites.
It works with local authorities, housing associations and co-ops and other public bodies. It also helps and advises private individuals. The aims are to find out where swifts are nesting, both:
- Whereabouts in a building and
- Whereabouts in location
and in order to:
- Save or retain existing nest sites when repairs and renovation are taking place (this is important as swifts do not readily move house) and
- If and when this is not possible, have new nest sites integrated into the refurbished buildings in exactly the same position as the previous ones (swifts will ignore a new site that is even 50mm away from the original site)
and, in the case of new buildings in swift areas, to have new nest sites built into the fabric of the building.
Only where there is no alternative should nest boxes be retro-fitted onto a building.
Everyone needs to be aware of the legal requirement for protection, enshrined in the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004. This makes it an offence to intentionally or recklessly take, damage or destroy or otherwise interfere with the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or to obstruct or prevent any wild bird from using its nest.
We need to share practical experience and knowledge about swift nest sites, where they are and how to protect them.