Each year swifts migrate from Africa to nest and breed largely in the East and South of England. Swifts nest in holes, often in old buildings – all too often however they will find their nests gone. The number one cause of swifts’ decline is loss of nesting sites. Maintenance, insulation and the building of thousands of new houses often give no thought in design to help these amazing birds nest. Where will our swifts go? After an exhausting migration flight of 7,000 miles from Africa, will they have the energy to find a new nest site and build a nest from scratch again? Sadly many do not. Swift rescue centres soon fill up at the start of the season, with dehydrated, exhausted swifts. The Swift Project helps to re-house swifts by placing swift boxes strategically in and around Guildford to encourage nesting.

In 2021 The Swift Project put up a over 120 swift boxes in the area including in Charlottesville, Merrow, Pewley Down and East Clandon. GEF and Waverley Borough Council have successfully been in consultation with building work in the Ockford Ridge area of Godalming for the past five years to make sure swift bricks are installed in each phase of the new build housing development. The second phase of housing should be complete in May 2022, in time to welcome the swifts from their migratory journey.

The GEF Swift Project is led by GEF member GEF Sarah Davies. For more information on having a swift box installed, please contact