Kirriemuir has part to play to boost swift number nationally

Kirriemuir has a healthy number of swifts that visit during the summer.
Kirriemuir has a healthy number of swifts that visit during the summer.

Kirriemuir could play a key role in the conservation of one of the UK’s favourite summer birds, according to a local group.

While the number of swifts may on the decline, the town has a healthy population which the Kirriemuir Swift Conservation Project would like to encourage.

The group was set up to complement the Kirriemuir Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), a £1.1 million project run by Historic Scotland and Angus Council, which includes the renovation of a number of buildings.

Fergus Cook, from the swift project, said this presents a good opportunity to encourage swift numbers in the town, which could have a knock-on effect at a national level.

He said: “The purpose of the Kirriemuir Swift Conservation Project is to make sure that existing nest sites are not lost and to make new ones available. Swifts clearly like it in Kirriemuir and it could be come a bigger stronghold for them, which could be useful at a national level.

“The danger is that nest sites are blocked off and that the total number of suitable sites is reduced, which would be a tragedy. The Kirriemuir Swift Conservation Project aims to work collaboratively with property owners to conserve existing nest sites and provide new ones.

“It is hoped to erect 100 swift boxes in areas where swifts are known to be found in and around Kirriemuir.”

To highlight both the project and the birds, Fergus will lead a free guided walk around the centre of Kirriemuir on Wednesday, July 30.

Fergus added: “This guided walk is to raise the profile of swifts in Kirriemuir and encourage people to enjoy them. We will look at where they nest, if we are lucky we will see them, and as they go along, participants will find out more about them.

Anyone interested in joining the walk should meet at the Peter Pan statue on the High Street at 7 p.m. Afterwards there will be a chance to enjoy tea or coffee at Visocchi’s at a discount price of £1.