Category: Swifts & Hirundines

The aim of this section of the site is (1) to focus attention on the need to protect, wherever possible, the nesting sites of Swifts in Sussex. These birds are declining for several reasons, one being due to their nesting areas being destroyed. In conjunction with Edward Mayer and it is hoped that we can continue to highlight the help that can be given to these wonderful birds; and (2) to focus similar attention on hirundines, notably the red-listed House Martin but also Swallows and Sand Martins.

Grants from SOS helping Swifts and Hirundines

SOS has supported two projects in West Sussex to provide nest boxes for the birds returning to breed. Our Hirundine Champion, Paul Stevens was invited by Greening Arundel to spearhead a Bring Back Our Birds (B-BOB) campaign, which has been enthusiastically adopted by local residents, with 50 nest boxes and cups being installed in over 30 locations, with more planned for next year.

Along the coast, as part of the Wild About Clymping ‘High Flyers’ project, SOS has provided funding and advice to enable the placing of Swift boxes and House Martin cups around the village, including at the local school. The Head Teacher said : ‘This initiative means a great deal to us and aligns perfectly with our commitment to conservation and wildlife education.

SOS contributed almost £1500 towards the two projects: we were especially impressed that both involve local communities and promote interest in these welcome summer visitors.

David Stocker, Doug Hart and Paul Stevens


House Martins in nest box made by Paul Stevens

SOS Hirundine Champion


A message from Paul Stevens, our new Hirundine Champion.

So many of our hirundines, especially House Martins (red listed), are in decline and support for their conservation, especially in the South East, is a growing concern.

I bring more than 10 years of expertise for the conservation of Swifts, Martins and Swallows and I am currently the voluntary conservation officer for the newly formed charity, House Martin Conservation UK and Ireland. Much of my work with this charity is providing advice to the public and private concerns about saving or renewing populations of these birds.

I have been involved in designing and building Sand Martin nesting banks in Sussex, including the one at Arundel WWT Centre.

By providing this information to SOS members it will help support their conservation further in Sussex. Enquiries can also be directed through to me for further support on bolstering, renewing and establishing new populations of our hirundines.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Paul Stevens


Can you help Swifts in Uckfield?

A group is steadily coming together to observe and record the beautiful swifts nesting in and around Uckfield. We need more eyes on the skies and would welcome any local residents interested in joining this group.

We’re also keen to hear from anyone in Uckfield and surrounding areas with a nest site or swift box/brick on their house or building. Let us know if you enjoy a hot spot of swift activity over your garden or street.

Please get in touch for a chat if you’d like to join regular swift surveys and other activities to increase awareness of our resident swift population.

Vanessa Sutcliffe


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