• Liberty team up with wildlife charity to give rare birds new homes

Rare birds who were at risk of being made homeless have been given new homes in Salford thanks to a partnership between property services business Liberty and a local wildlife group.

Swifts and house martins - both protected species on the amber conservation list in the UK - head to South Africa during the British winter, but head back to familiar turf every summer.

They return to previous nesting sites so can be disrupted by building work.

Liberty was approached by the Bolton and Bury Swifts, who offered their support to ensure the birds were protected during a re-roofing scheme being delivered by Liberty for ForHousing in Eccles, Salford.

As a result, eight specially designed house martin bowls were purchased to ensure that when the birds returned from their winter migration they had a safe place to nest and breed.

Site manager Wendy Robinson said: “The birds go to South Africa for the winter months and actually fly back to the last place they went to. If they can’t get back in there, they can actually become disorientated which can be fatal which was enough for me to say ‘let’s put bird boxes up.’

“It’s the first time I’ve actually been approached by a charity to assist on something like this, and it’s been really valuable.”

In total 32 swifts boxes and eight house martin bowls were installed on 30 homes within the re-roofing scheme, with 10 private homes in the same housing estate also taking part to ensure that the birds had access to suitable nesting sites when they returned.

This spring they came back to Eccles and have been seen using the new nesting boxes.

Louise Bentley, founder of Bolton and Bury Swifts, said: “Swifts numbers have declined by 53% since 1995, and house martins are struggling to find homes too.

“Both birds have nested alongside us under house eaves for centuries and they return to the same nest site each year.

“Thanks to Liberty and the residents who have offered to host a box or bowl on their homes, these birds have now been catered for. We are also working with ForHousing to protect these precious colonies in the long term."

Liberty specialises in the full range of property services including refurbishments, new build homes, repairs and maintenance, gas servicing and renewable energy.

To learn more about Swifts and House Martins, please contact Louise Bentley at superswifts@outlook.com or 07557 796 508.

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