Housebuilder supporting birdlife at Northumberland development

A housebuilder is increasing efforts to support birdlife at its developments.

By David Sedgwick
Monday, 08 July, 2019, 13:00
Barratt Homes is using swift bricks at its developments to boost numbers of the bird.

Barratt Developments is set to install swift bricks in a selection of its sites, including Blossom Park in Pegswood, in an aim to boost the numbers of swifts in the area.

It is part of a corporate partnership with wildlife charity the RSPB.

There are an estimated 90,000 pairs of swifts in the UK, down from 150,000 pairs two decades ago.

Swifts use spaces in rooftops or in old buildings to make their nests, but modern building methods can eliminate the swifts’ access to rooftops.

Carl Sobolewski, managing director at Barratt Developments North East, said: “Our aim is to try to give nature a home.

“Installing swift bricks into houses as we build them is a simple and effective way to do just that.

“Swifts are an iconic bird that used to be seen everywhere. By giving them new nesting sites, hopefully, it will help give them a boost so we can see more of them.”

Mike Clarke, chief executive of the RSPB, said: “There’s nothing quite like seeing and hearing swifts soar over rooftops as they perform breathtaking aerobatics at incredible speeds on a summer’s evening.

“Unfortunately, this is a bird we are very concerned about as there are less than half the number we used to see in our skies in the 1990s.”

He added: “Housebuilders like Barratt are able to help our swifts, and their commitment to create homes for them, as well as people, will make a big difference in keeping these amazing birds in our skies.”