Swift response to local housing issue

Bernicia have been helping swigts migrating at the Burnside development in Bedlington Station.
Bernicia have been helping swigts migrating at the Burnside development in Bedlington Station.

A housing firm has been helping with the migration of swifts.

After carrying out a substantial improvement programme at more than 180 properties at Burnside, in Bedlington Station, staff at Bernicia were told swifts had been nesting in the wooden fascias.

Tenants said they would like to see the birds continue to nest, so staff ensured they could still get under the eaves.

Steve Burke, team leader for customer involvement at Bernicia, said: “Several of our tenants were concerned that the improvement work would prevent the swifts from accessing their nesting places due to the replacements of the old wooden fascias and soffits.

“It is a well-known problem for swifts in Britain that modern roof building techniques no longer provide the small gaps and spaces found in older construction design. As a result of this lack of nesting space, these captivating summer visitors are declining in number and are now being added to the British Conservation Review’s amber list of conservation importance.

“Fortunately, a member of our staff has a great deal of wildlife knowledge and was able to work with contractors to solve the problem, therefore alleviating tenant concerns. Small platforms were set into each of the newly installed fascias to allow the birds access under the eaves, but not into the roof space.”

Andrea Malcolm, group assistant director at Bernicia, added: “This is just one example of how Bernicia takes tenant feedback on board and looks to ensure that any problems raised are addressed.”

“Steve and the team at Burnside have done a fantastic job of listening to the needs of their tenants and coming up with a solution which is beneficial for all.”

To find out more about Bernicia, please call 0344 800 3800 or visit www.bernicia.com.