Swifts – Talk by Edward Mayer

Date/Time
Date(s) - 1 Dec 2021
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Location

Category(ies)

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Description

A Green Connections Powys talk on Zoom by Swift expert Edward Mayer outlining their life cycle, migration and what we can do to help.  Please register through the Eventbrite link below to receive Joining details which will sent out a few days before the talk.

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The Green Connections Powys project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

In 2003 Edward Mayer pioneered an approach to preserving the future of the Swift (The Common Swift: Apus apus) through advice, talks and the encouragement of widespread volunteer action. Having realised that Swifts were in decline in the area he lived in, he tried to find out the reasons. These turned out to be the replacement of roofs and the insulation of old houses, which blocked the holes where the Swifts had lived.

He studied the efforts of Swift experts in Germany, and began his work by creating “London’s Swifts” an internetbased advice service focusing on how to preserve existing nest sites and create new provision.

It was such a success that the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds asked him to make it a national service and “Swift Conservation” was born. It soon started to receive appeals for help from enthusiasts in Europe, so Edward widened its scope to cover Europe too.

Edward first became fascinated by Swifts at the age of six when he saw these amazing birds flying above his home in Southampton. He has been in love with them ever since.

He worked for a number of Government agencies and for twelve years was head of the department managing the property, infrastructure and facilities of the Tate Gallery.

As Swifts are now almost wholly dependent on holes in buildings for nesting, his work at the Tate provided Edward with invaluable knowledge for helping Swifts by giving him the expertise for practical discussions with builders, architects, and those responsible in local government for planning, biodiversity policy and the conservation and restoration of old buildings; all of whom can have a great influence on the survival of these charismatic birds.

“Swift Conservation” supplies advice via its web site but Edward has also given over 300 talks and training sessions to various organisations. Free leaflets and nest box designs are available, as well as recordings of Swift calls for attracting the birds to new nest sites. Edward also provides tailored advice on specific projects and on the setting up of local groups to support Swifts.

There is now an extensive “Swifts Local Network” across the United Kingdom with its own web forum, and more local Swift groups are starting up all the time.

Within Europe advice and training has been provided to enthusiasts and organisations in Spain, France, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Norway, Croatia, and Slovakia. Edward helped run the first four International Swift Conferences, the first two in Berlin and the latter two in Cambridge in the UK and Tel Aviv in Israel.