Our Broadstairs College has joined forces with local Wildlife Conservationist, Nik Mitchell, and RSPB’s Thanet Local Group, to install seven new swift nest boxes in a mission to provide a lifeline to the endangered bird.
Installed on the side of one of the College’s tallest buildings, located a short distance from the seafront, the boxes mark the first major step in establishing Kent’s first artificial swift colony.
Known for flying extraordinary distances of up to 500 miles per day whilst on migration, swifts spend almost all of their life on the wing, and only come to land when nesting.
Years of progressive local habitat loss, building developments, and home renovations, has seen a decline in established nest sites in Kent – a trend this new initiative hopes to address.
Assistant Principal of Broadstairs College, Sarah-Jayne Benfield, commented: “We are really proud to be part of the ongoing swift conservation project in Thanet.
“Working with Nik and RSPB’s Thanet Local Group, we have an exciting opportunity to engage with our students and our local community to raise awareness of these incredible birds and the importance of wildlife conservation.”
Prolific local Conservationist, Nik Mitchell, who installed the boxes added: “Swifts are incredibly loyal to a nest site, with the colony returning time and time again to the same spot. When an established nest location is blocked up or removed, it has a detrimental impact on the swifts’ wellbeing and population levels. Sadly, we’ve lost over half of our swifts in the last 20 years.
“The new nest site at Broadstairs College is in a brilliant location and provides a fantastic opportunity to help safeguard the future of swifts in Kent.”
It is hoped the new site will become home to first-time nesters when the young adult swifts return from their fledgeling flight in two to three years’ time.
Alongside the boxes, information plaques including facts about swifts, will be installed on the College’s premises for students, staff and visitors to learn more about the initiative.
The inclusion of the swift nest boxes is part of Broadstairs College’s ongoing journey to become an environmentally conscious organisation. Visit our Broadstairs College's website to learn more.