A project to bring more swifts to mid Wales by installing bird boxes in Machynlleth has been declared a great success.

In January 20222, work began to install 50 bird boxes around Machynlleth as part of a nature initiative called the Swift Nest Box Project to draw more “charismatic bird species” to the area.

The project was first by conceived by the Dyfi Biodiversity Machynlleth Climate Action Group with the aim of constructing 50 boxes for the town by spring.

Five months later, the project has installed 80 bird boxes across the Dyfi Biosphere.

Project leader, Ben Porter, said: “There’s been a huge decline in swifts in the last 10 to 20 years, Machynlleth is a great place for swifts because of the high buildings and we already have a population.

“Going into town in the spring and seeing swifts in a town, flying around, they are one of the coolest birds.

“They are such a charismatic species, they spend most of their life on wing, touching down, and then heading back to Africa for winter.

“It’s easy to make more space for swifts by putting up boxes.”

The inspiration for the project came after a Machynlleth Town Council declared a climate emergency in 2018 and were looking for ways to increase the biodiversity of the area.

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After consulting with residents via the Dyfi Natur Facebook page, asking if anyone would be interested in having a swift box on their home or property, the positive response got the initiative underway.

With the support of local nature enthusiasts, as well as carpenters from the area Machynlleth Town Council, Machynlleth Rotary Club, funding from Garthgwynion Charities the project exceeded its target of 50 boxes.

The initiative also received help from Edward Rhodes of Garth Holiday Park who volunteered his time with a telehandler device to reach the higher buildings.

Mr Porter added: “As the much-awaited Swifts arrive back in the valley, the Dyfi Biosphere Swift Project will organise a number of ‘Swift walks’ between May and July to investigate where Swifts are already nesting around the area, and to introduce people to these wonderful birds.”

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