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Photos and article by Mark Pascoe

There is surely nothing quite as unique as being born in Wotton-under-Edge -” strong by stream and staple” – or, in the case of swifts, to be born here under our summer skies?

But, as we have reported before, nesting swifts need our help to continue to call the Town their home – as they remain on the RSPB red list, being endangered. Climate change, loss of nest sites and reliable sources of flying insects have all taken their toll.

Thankfully, many in Wotton have noticed the declining numbers of swifts and want to do something positive, to redress the balance – to both celebrate but also encourage this acrobatic aviator from Africa, due back with us from early-May.

So, in the coming months, a new Town trail is being proposed by long-term resident Mark Pasco: with the growing approval of Town Council, and he now says others can actively play their part too.

“First, we need to map the existing nest sites we know of in Wotton, to create and mark the best places to see them,” said Mark, “We will put up our own unique swift plaque, in those key places – then install lots more swift nest boxes too, to help increase future numbers.”

Even as we go to print, the Cotswold Community Men’s Shed are making a dozen bespoke nest boxes and an original blue plaque has already been designed by Bristol artist, Dave Bain.

RSPB approved nest boxes, and the blue plaques, will each cost £20 to buy/sponsor or £50 to buy a nest box and have it fitted on a house, or building, above five metres high.

“I can never say I was born here but the swifts can – and they have belonged here far longer than even the oldest of our Town residents!”

You can join in by e-mailing Mark Pasco markpasco@hotmail.co.uk – to tell him about a nesting location you know of, for the Town trail map, or to get more details about sponsoring a plaque, or nest box, or even putting one up where you live.

Further details on the Town swift trail and its official launch will be in our April edition – so look out and look up!