Aldeburgh’s historic roofs offer the perfect nesting sites for Swifts. These endangered birds usually return to their place of birth with adults occupying the same nest every year. Juvenile birds reserve nest sites for the following year when they return from their 7,500 mile journey from Africa, undertaken without landing. With its surrounding marshland, the town also offers the prospect of an abundant supply of insects which is vital to the birds’ survival.
However, modern building techniques have reduced the number of natural nesting holes in roofs and so the Aldeburgh's Amazing Swifts project launched their Swift Conservation project in May 2017 with the aim to install special nest boxes around the town. The project has had a fantastic response from residents and businesses with over 80 boxes now installed on properties throughout the town.
The project was also awarded some funding from the Suffolk Secrets/AONB fund which facilitated the installation of nest boxes and a camera system in the Parish Church, in the hope that live footage of nesting Swifts in the years to come will be captured on film, to accompany footage of the Jackdaws that live on the other side of the Belfry and who successfully reared two young.
This summer the Aldeburgh's Amazing Swifts project has also been caring for a number of young Swifts who left their nests too early and were found by local residents. Unable to take off from the ground, Swifts sometimes need some specialist care to get them fully fit to fly. A Swift that was rescued last year formed the storyline for the children’s book called Storm which inspires children and parents to want to help save this amazing bird. To get your hands on a copy, visit Aldeburgh Book Shop and make a donation of just £1!
For more information on the 'Aldeburgh's Amazing Swifts' conservation project, visit https://aldeburghsamazingswifts.co.uk/
To plan your visit to Aldeburgh, take a look at our Aldeburgh Town Guide!