London's Swifts Nest Places in Cavity Walls

Swifts nest places can be set up inside cavity walls, if there is enough space. Modern dwellings may well have too little space, but older sites, including stone built buildings, may well have enough space between the outer and inner walls.

Ideally, all nest-places should be out of direct sunlight on the shaded side of the building. But if the outer wall layer is very thick, this may not be so necessary as the heat gain may be limited by the thickness of the walls.

Minimum nest place dimensions are 20cm deep by 50cm wide by 25cm high. Bigger is better! The nest trays can be roofed if this is desirable. The entrance hole can be about 55mm round, and should be drilled into the wall slightly above nest tray level, so the birds can gain level access to their nest. If the wall is thicker than one brick, the inner part of the hole should be "belled out" to make access much easier.

N.B. Ventilation and insulation aspects should if necessary be examined and assured by experts before starting work. Ventilation benefits Swifts, who often suffer from overheated nest places.

Swift nest places in new-build or rebuilt cavity walls

Placing nest trays or boxes in the wall cavity space replicates Swifts' natural cliff and quarry nest sites. Such nest sites are particularly safe and discreet. Not only will intrusion and predation be deterred, but the human occupiers will scarcely notice the Swifts' presence, and vice versa.

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