Penrith Swift Group and Eurocell Create 100 Nest Boxes for Endangered Swifts

Eurocell is supporting the Penrith Swift Group, part of Cumbria Wildlife Trust, to provide 100 homes for  much-loved swifts ahead of their arrival on our shores this Spring, providing the species with more safe spaces to breed.  

These brief visitors to the UK herald the start of warmer days, as they zoom through our skies between May-August each year – but they are under threat. Their population has plummeted in recent years, dropping by 60 per cent in the 25 years between 1995 and 2020 and becoming a red-listed endangered species. 

Desperate to make a change to the fortunes of the swift, Tanya and Edmund Hoare of Sedbergh community swifts in Cumbria met with other swift enthusiasts in 2014 to set up the Swift Local Network (SLN), a national forum where ideas, help and advice could be shared. It has grown to 135 groups across the country and its success has led to it becoming a part of the Wildlife Trust. 

Sue Rowlands, of the local Penrith Swift Group has been working with volunteers to build swift boxes and advertise and sell them locally since July 2022. She’s also helped others to safely put the boxes up, and is organising this summer’s swift surveys.

Eurocell, home improvement specialists, is among its range of home improvement products, a leading manufacturer, supplier and recycler of PVC-u windows and doors. Eurocell has donated 50m of the PVCu it produces to the charity to support Sue’s efforts to help protect swifts in the region and create more nest boxes. 

Sue said; “We thank the team at Eurocell for the support and donation of PVC-u. This is enough for us to make another 100 swift nest box roofs! Which is fantastic.

“With these donated materials, we can encourage more residents to install nesting places and ultimately work for the long-term protection of these beautiful birds.”

Swifts live their lives almost entirely on the wing and travel a remarkable 14,000 miles between the UK, where they breed and Africa, where they overwinter. During this time, they sleep, eat, drink and preen whilst airborne. Astonishingly, an average swift will fly the equivalent to the moon and back 4 times in its lifetime.

The overall aims of the Swift Local Network are, to increase awareness of these incredible birds, encourage people to enjoy and embrace them as part of our lives and, importantly, protect and increase the numbers of places where they breed. 

Darren Waters, chief executive officer at Eurocell said: “We wanted to support Sue and the Penrith Swift Group as PVCu is an excellent material for nest boxes. It is weatherproof and will not degrade over time, allowing the birds to return to their nests year after year. Sue and all the volunteers do a brilliant job of protecting this endangered species, so we are glad we could provide our help to them, as well as other local swift’s groups nationally in the UK.”