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CARDIFF residents are being asked to help train as ‘swift surveyors’ to help protect Wales’s diminishing population of swifts while connecting with nature and their local community. 

The Cardiff Swift Survey will help to protect these migrating birds, numbers of which have decreased by nearly 70% in Wales since 1995, by enlisting surveyors to map nesting colonies in their local area.

The survey is being run by the members of the Cardiff Bay Swift Partnership (Glamorgan Bird Club, Cardiff Harbour Authority, and RSPB Cymru) which was established in 2017 with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Angela Munn, Project Manager at RSPB Cymru, said:

“Each spring, swifts make an epic 6,000-mile journey from Africa to the UK, where they nest for breeding. But modernisation of buildings has destroyed nesting sites, such as eaves and gaps under roof tiles, and if numbers continue to decrease at the current rate, swifts could be lost as a breeding bird in Wales within two decades.”

Prior surveying experience is not required, as free online training via Zoom will be provided by the Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff team and Glamorgan Bird Club Wednesday, May 19 from 19:00-20:00.

Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury, said:

“The swift tower, installed on Cardiff Bay Barrage to help provide much-needed homes for migrating swifts to return to each year, is one of many steps we’ve taken with our partners to help give nature a home in Cardiff.”

“Gathering information about other nesting sites is going to be vital for safeguarding swift colonies in the future, but this is also a great opportunity for people to connect with nature on their doorstep and with their local community.”

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