Letter - Swifts have been evicted from houses

Not everyone is interested in wildlife or bothered about loss of breeding sites for birds like swifts and it would appear that Wakefield and District Housing (WFH) is not either.

This spring WDH started fitting new roofs and solar panels on the Farm Road estate in Featherstone to make them eco-friendly.

Swifts have nested in these roofs for many years, so if access wasn’t provided for when they come back from Africa there would be ‘no room at the inn’ and there wasn’t. They had been evicted, the colony destroyed as, unlike previous years, there were no family groups flying round this year.

What’s even sadder is re-roofing started on Victoria Street when swifts were still feeding young and there’s been no sign of these fledglings either, so no longer will we see and hear them flying round screaming at break-neck speed like the Red Arrows over Station Lane.

Swifts are in serious trouble now due to loss of nest sites, so much so that some councils insist that roof access is provided in all new build, as some do for bats as well. The beauty of this is it doesn’t cost anything to provide access on new build or re-roofing, in fact it makes the housing even more eco-friendly at no extra cost.

Could the council please give us its views and policies on the above, especially with regard to the two large-scale housing projects in Featherstone?

L Young

Pontefract Road

Purston