Sarah and Eddie Humphreys visited the site in Pound Road, Banstead along with members of the Swift Protection Association in Banstead (SPAB). The group took a tour of the swift colony area as well as the swift and sparrow nest boxes that have been installed onto the building to help support the pre-existing nest site at the scheme.
Barry Jenkinson, Net Zero Carbon Project Manager at Raven Housing Trust said, “It was wonderful to welcome the Mayor and Mayoress to Pound Road, and to have the opportunity to discuss the bird conservation works we have incorporated into the site.
At Raven, we’re always eager to protect and support the local environment and wildlife, so we’re keen to continue our collaboration efforts with SPAB and have already discussed opportunities to further our support of bird colonies in the area.”
The Mayor of Reigate and Banstead, Councillor Humphreys added, “Annie gave us an interesting insight to the sadly endangered swift population which is partly owing to the declining nesting habitat.
It was great to hear how our local housing trust, Raven have recognised this and how they can help with their existing properties where swifts have been identified and also encourage nests in any new builds.”
Swifts were added to the UK Red List of endangered birds in 2021. The birds typically spend winters in Africa, migrating over 3,400 miles twice a year to and from their summer breeding locations across the UK.
Swifts are known to return to the same site each year for breeding, and often nest inside roofs of houses and churches. By installing swift bricks or nest boxes on external walls, swifts are able to return year on year, helping support the conservation priority action.
Annie Griffin, Raven resident and member of SPAB said: “We are delighted that Raven Housing Trust are working with communities to help nature. The importance of their contribution to swifts and sparrows on this site cannot be overestimated.
They are leading by example, and we hope that other housing providers will also be inspired by their work to help swifts and other red listed birds. We look forward to continuing our work with them.”