Who are Lewes Swift Supporters?

Lewes Swift Supporters is a community group of volunteers who are working together to increase the numbers of Swifts in Lewes, East Sussex. Our town has always been an important area for Swifts, with an estimated 10% of Sussex Swifts nesting here. However, their numbers have declined by 50% in the last few decades - and they need our help to survive and thrive!

Membership of Lewes Swift Supporters is free! You just need to get in touch to register as a Supporter and give your permission for us to send you newsletters and advance notice of any events that we organise. Contact us via: lewesswifts@gmail.com

What we are doing:

  • completing methodical surveys of Swifts, from late April to early August, to identify active nest sites and the areas where young Swifts are prospecting for nests;
  • using the data from our surveys to identify "hot spots" where colonies of Swifts could be further developed by installing nest boxes;
  • advising and supporting residents who wish to buy and install their own nest box;
  • organising Swift walks and talks to spread the word about these fascinating birds;
  • working with local councils to advise them about sites where planning applications for new developments or renovations are near existing Swift colonies - and could include a planning condition advising the inclusion of Swift bricks or boxes;
  • involving as many Lewes residents as possible in reporting information about Swifts, via our Facebook group, Twitter or email, in our annual Swift Watch;
  • applying for grants* to raise funds so that LSS can buy Swift boxes and callers, and pay for their installation, in the "hot spots" of Lewes.

 

Two Swifts by Debs Kemp

Photograph of two Swifts flying from one of the nests at the rear of the High Street

by Debs Kemp, one of our supporters.

*Thanks to Sussex Ornithologial Society, Friends of Lewes, Chalk Cliff Trust and Sussex Police for grant funding that has enabled us to buy and install Swift boxes and callers at Swift "hot spots" in 2020 and 2021.