Swift action taken for Bridlington re-roofing project

SWIFT action has been taken as part of a re-roofing project to ensure a group of birds who return to the same council homes in Bridlington every year will have a place to nest when they arrive back in the UK.  

Andrew Mclean

Council houses in Matson Road on the West Hill estate are to benefit from thermal upgrading, including external wall insulation and new windows, as well as re-roofing, if they require it.   

This includes two neighbouring properties on Matson Road, where swifts have returned to nests every year, according to the one of the tenants and wildlife fan Andrew Mclean.  

He said the swifts have been coming back around the start of May for more than 20 years to a nest underneath the tiles of his roof, near the gutter. Every year they used this as their home for about three months, Mr Mclean added. They then left the nest before returning again the following year.  

Work to fit new guttering and fascia boards on his property and seal the hole where the swifts nested has been completed early by East Riding of Yorkshire Council contractor, Houlton. This is so new nest boxes can be fitted to his home in good time for when the swifts arrive in May.  

The same work is also being done to the neighbouring house that attracts swifts. A nest box will also be fitted to that property.  

The actual re-roofing and external wall works will wait until the swifts have gone again in July/August.  

Once the boxes are installed they will not be removed again and hopefully will host the swifts every year.  

Mr Mclean said: “They are the same birds. They always come back to the same nesting site. It’s amazing how they seem to find the same nest holes.  

“I’m grateful that nest boxes are being fitted for the swifts before they come back in May.”  

Other properties on the estate will have the necessary requirements assessed and with the advice of a specialist ecologist any necessary requirements completed as part of the works.  

House martins may also nest on the estate, and efforts will be taken to ensure they are not disturbed. 

The RSPB website says the swift is a summer visitor, breeding across the UK, and winters in Africa.   

It says the swift is a superb flier that even sleeps on the wing. 

Cllr Chris Matthews, portfolio holder for strategic property, infrastructure and climate change, said: “It's good news that the council is trusted to create innovative solutions to provide insulated homes for our residents thereby reducing carbon emissions and at the same time continue to make provision for our welcomed migrating swifts from Africa.”  

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