Swifts: Their history, and how to save them

Learn more about them and their history as detailed by writers of the past

30 April 2024 6pm to 7pm

Photograph of swift by Robert Booth

Our swifts and other co-dependent urban birds have been in catastrophic decline for the last 35 years. This is due to the widespread use of plastic fascias and soffits to replace the timber that was used in the past. Unlike plastic, timber would warp, shrink or rot over time and provide the access into the eaves that swifts need in order to be able to nest. Here in the south-east of England the data shows that we have lost 70% of our swifts in just 27 years due to the loss of their nesting sites. Swifts are the most remarkable birds, spending their whole lives on the wing except for the few weeks when they are nesting. They spend the winter in south-east Africa and return here to nest at the start of May.

At this event, come and learn more about them and their history as detailed by writers of the past especially the great Gilbert White, naturalist and curate of Selborne parish. In addition, find out more about how our environment was recorded in the past in archives which you can use to explore further.

Doors open from 5:30pm to allow for exhibition viewing.

Photograph of swift taken by Robert Booth.