MEMBERS of North Colchester Men’s Shed have been working to build desirable residencies for 200 families of swifts.

Swifts are one of nature's fastest and best travelled bird species, migrating further than 3,000 miles from Africa to the UK each spring. 

Swifts pair for life, returning to the same nesting site each year, before laying and incubating their eggs.

The preferred nesting sites for swifts are house and church roofs, but as more old buildings are renovated and the gaps are closed up, their nest sites have quickly disappeared.

Regrettably, this has resulted in the birds being added to the red list in the 2021 UK Conservation Status Report

Shed member Robert Kean led the team and created an original template design for the special double nest boxes, each sufficient to house two swift families.


He said: “We delivered 40 single swift boxes to Dedham Vale area of outstanding natural beauty last autumn and then they asked us to make another 100, but this time double the size.

“Shed members have pulled out the stops over the past few weeks to get the boxes ready in time for the nesting season.”

Some of the newly-built boxes will be placed in the Dedham area, some will be sent to the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB, where migrant swifts are also expected in sizeable numbers.