You may have spotted a new addition to our project. With the funding from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s “NGO Challenge Fund” administered by the Northern Ireland Environment Link and secured by the Belfast Hills Partnership we have installed a new ‘Swift Tower’ at the allotments. This funding is made of the 5p’s and 10p’s that the N.I public have spent on plastic carrier bags in the last year (we love the plastic bag tax!).
Swifts are summer migrants like our swallows. They fly from Africa to Ireland and spend the summer here feeding and breeding. However we humans have unwittingly destroyed a lot of the cosy places that swifts like to nest. They especially love old ruined buildings and barns. We like to knock these down and ‘tidy them up’. The result is that the numbers of swifts in Ireland has drastically reduced. So these ‘Swift Towers’ provide a boutique nesting place for our summer migrants. There are 24 nest boxes in the tower. There is also a small solar panel which will power a recorded verison of the swifts song. This decoy swift song will lure passing swifts into the area to nest as they believe other swifts are nesting nearby. This is another great addition to our project and builds on efforts to care for the wildlife at the allotments. Any questions, just ask.