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Article & Photo by Mark Pasco

Wotton resident, Lucy Stanley, only has a short walk to work at the Auction Rooms – but nobody can say she is not swift. Not now anyway!

First, she spotted adult swifts flying in to a tiny hole, on the east facing side of the Tabernacle building. Heralding its own blue plaque as part of the Town trail – to notice and celebrate all the places these summer migrants choose to return to each year, to nest.

Her dilemma came in mid-July, when she found a swiftlet down on the ground below, not yet ready to be on the wing.

Directory readers will know how committed our local community is to conservation – and soon Lucy’s social media networking triggered an amazing rescue!

Like-minded folk joining together to help the swiftlet she had named “Shuffle”.

Stroud Swift Group had started a special rescue team for just such an emergency, with these endangered birds from the RSPB red list.

Lucy went much more than the extra mile to entrust “Shuffle” to her Stroud contact, Gill Stacey .

Soon the bird-in-the-hand was being warmed and hand-fed by dedicated volunteer, Gillian Westray in Broadway!

By early-August, Lucy received the heart-warming news that “Shuffle” had survived, thrived and was soon to be released: for its maiden flight – to Africa.

Bearing all the care and best wishes the swiftlet could hope for – along with its new name: “Chubby.”