Over 100 bird boxes have been installed in Honiton ready for the return of the swifts this summer.

This was a joint operation by Honiton Community Action Group (HCAG) Devon Swift project, the RSPB, EDDC and Honiton Town Council.

The bird boxes have been funded by donations, including significant contributions from Honiton Lions, from the community fund of Cllr Phil Twiss, and generous personal donations.

These bird boxes have been installed at several key locations including the Honiton Scout building, Honiton King's House - Hospice Care, the tower of the Church of the Holy Family, where 40 boxes have been installed, and the residences of Charles Road, which houses 27 boxes.

Additional bird boxes can be found at The Beehive, Honiton Primary School, and Manor House, thanks to the generosity of landlord Chris Cullen.

Midweek Herald:

The installation of these boxes is highly significant as it provides specially designed homes for swifts which are currently classified as "under threat".

They typically return from their winter homes of equatorial Africa in early May and stay until August.

Swifts, despite being superbly adapted to their unique lifestyle, have seen their numbers drastically drop over recent decades due to climate change and other ecological crises.

Midweek Herald:

Charles Road residents, who have been part of this initiative since receiving personally delivered letters in February, expressed their excitement about the project.

Carole Courtney said: "I'm quite excited to have a swift extension on our house".

Nicky Cassel stated: "We are so pleased and excited to be part of this wonderful Honiton Community Action Group Project, helping breeding populations of swifts.

"They are really wonderful birds and need all the help we can give them".

Miriam Thomas from HCAG explained the choice of locations for the bird boxes, saying: "These locations and others have been identified as places with nearby existing swift colonies.

"Although more needs to be done, in years to come, hopes are high the Honiton's swifts will have a brighter future; and that today's human residents and future generations will continue to be able to enjoy a 'scream' of swifts".

Looking ahead, HCAG is currently in talks with Honiton Town Council to explore further ways to improve the food sources and habitats for Honiton's diverse wildlife.

To help promote awareness about swifts, HCAG will be hosting a roost-watching event during Swift Awareness Week, in early July.

For more information about the event, contact Miriam at 07845943458 or honitoncag21@gmail.com.