Saving Swifts in South East Herts

by Stan Kitchiner in Hoddesdon, , United Kingdom

Saving Swifts in South East Herts

Total raised £5,630

£8,000 stretch target 22 days left
112% 90 supporters

  Your donation will release extra funding

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Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 24th December 2023 at 9:57am

Swifts have declined by over 60% in the past 30 years so we would like to raise money to purchase and erect swift nest boxes in our area.

by Stan Kitchiner in Hoddesdon, , United Kingdom

 donated match funding
Aviva Community Fund is providing live match funding

 New stretch target

Purchase and erect more Swift boxes

                                                     South East Herts RSPB Members Group

                                                          Saving SWIFTS in South East Herts


The number of Swifts visiting the UK each summer has declined by more than half in the last 30 years.

One reason for this decline is that many of their traditional nest sites, in gaps and crevises under tiles and in the eaves of houses, are being lost when buildings are improved. Modern buildings are built to be airtight and keep birds out from the start.

These visitors from Africa can fly at 70 miles an hour and most never touch the ground, only landing at their nest sites to breed. Screaming flocks of Swifts in towns and villages are becoming much less common; numbers have more than halved in the last 30 years.


Our South East Herts RSPB local group are very enthusiastic about making some real changes. We are involved with many practical projects to do something really effective for wildlife and to get more people involved with the natural world.

We recognise that it's vital to inspire young people and to give them the opportunity to get close to nature. Children are the future. We want to erect more Swift Boxes locally to get young people inspired, communities working together and building owners reconnected with the fabulous nature on their doorstep. These boxes will make a real difference to this species in decline.

We will be working with the Hertford Swift Group who are highly experienced in getting boxes installed and could ensure funds are used quickly, efficiently and effectively. We have identified three areas in which the boxes will be erected, two in Hertford and a third in Ware. Both towns have a number of old buildings where Swifts already nest in their roofs but the populations can be strengthened by the addition of extra boxes.


    Erecting Swift boxes on the side of the McMullens Brewery in Hertford

Swifts are often very slow to take to new locations but we can speed that up. Installing callers that play the screaming calls of nesting Swifts attracts them and encourages them to try the nest boxes. We promise to choose the sites carefully because we understand that not everyone wants to hear Swift calls first thing in the morning!

Following the success of the David Attenborough’s ‘Wild Isles’ series earlier this year, Aviva, in partnership with the WWF and the RSPB, is making £1 million pounds available to support community wildlife projects. Aviva will ‘match’ donations made to our project, so for every £1 you donate we will get £2 added to it!!. This is a great opportunity to make a difference for our Swifts. 

Your donation will help to buy:

  • 100 Swift boxes
  • 20 Callers
  • Fund the cost of erecting the boxes

We hope you will join us in helping our Swift numbers increase in Hertford and Ware.

For more information about our group, please visit:

 or email:

 [email protected]

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