By Kerri Tyler
Across the hills and valleys of Stroud, people are gazing skyward in hope of snatching a glance of a much-loved harbinger of summer; Swifts are making their annual odyssey from Africa to Stroud, with the first few already being spotted in our skies.
To mark their return, Stroud Valleys Project (SVP) are teaming up with Stroud Swift Group to Welcome Back Our Swifts on Saturday 6 May outside SVP’s eco shop in central Stroud – and they’re being joined by some very special guests.
“We’re delighted to be hosting Boss Morris as they join us in welcoming back our Swifts,” says SVP’s CEO Clare Mahdiyone. “They’re hot property since their high-profile TV appearance at the Brits, so we’re honoured that they’re coming along to perform on Saturday. They’ll be with us around 11am to dance a couple of short sets – and we’ve also got family-friendly crafts, samples of Swift boxes, and the chance to hear the distinctive ‘screaming’ of the Swifts. Our event runs from 9.30am until 2pm and everyone is welcome to pop down and find out more.
“Swifts are declining in the UK, but here in Stroud we have significant numbers – and we need to protect them. We’ll be on hand to show people what they can do to take care of these unique birds.”
Last year, Stroud Swift Group helped rescue chicks that had fallen from their nest, taking them to a specialist rehabilitation centre for treatment. They all fledged successfully, so hopefully they’ll be joining their fellows making the journey 6,000 miles to Stroud from Africa in the next few months.
To find out more about Welcome Back Our Swifts, visit stroudvalleysproject.org/events.