A WOMAN from Chirk has been building nesting spaces for two species of rare migrating birds.

Hayley Garrod, moved to Chirk with her partner, Dan Mullock four years ago, and towards the end of their first summer in their home, they found a few swifts had decided to make the loft space their home too.

Since then the duo has decided to start making boxes to help save swifts and house martins.

But they've gone one step further by installing them for other people in Chirk in the hope of raising awareness.

Border Counties Advertizer: Nesting space at the St Mary's church, ChirkNesting space at the St Mary's church, Chirk (Image: Hayley Garrod)

Hayley said: “We have started making them for other people, after already making and placing 10 in our own loft.

“These birds are not dangerous, and they do not leave any damage to one's home, but a lot of the new homes are built with a solid brick which makes it harder for the swifts to nest."

The couple also set up a Facebook page in 2021 to further increase awareness.


Hayley continued: “I set up the group to raise awareness of our fascinating and increasingly rare migrant birds.

“Since then, along with members of the community, we have surveyed Chirk Aqueduct where there is a thriving colony of over 25 pairs of swifts, we have created over 80 nesting spaces for swifts in the local area, including four boxes in St Mary's church, Chirk.

“There are more swift-watching events lined up for this year, a talk in St Martins and a treasure hunt competition at the end of May.”

The Treasure Hunt will be in Chirk and activity packs will be available from The Cake Kitchen for £1 from Friday, May 26 and run until Tuesday, June 6.

Border Counties Advertizer: One of many boxes installed on a local propertyOne of many boxes installed on a local property (Image: Hayley Garrod)

Hayley also wants to let people know that the old ‘pick up a bird and throw it in the air’ is a myth that should be debunked.

She said: “Never throw a swift or house martin or release from high positions.

“Throwing an injured or exhausted bird will cause it to plummet to the ground and harm it further.

“Put it in a ventilated box on a towel in a warm, quiet place indoors.

“If you feel comfortable to do so, offer it water by dabbing a wet cotton bud on the side of its beak. It should lap up the drops.

“Do not feed it – they all have a unique diet, and feeding a dehydrated swift can kill in minutes.

Want to stay up to date with all the latest stories from Oswestry and the surrounding area? Click here to sign up for our morning and daily email newsletters and click on the + for the ‘Morning Briefing’ and the 'Daily Catch-Up'.

“Contact Summer Wings Rescue in Ellesmere as soon as possible for further advice.”

Hayley can be contacted via the Facebook group 'Chirk Swifts and House Martins', or at chirkswiftsandhousemartins@outlook.com and on 07846 853964.

To contact the rescue service email them at summerwingsrescue@gmail.com or via Facebook.