The following report was delivered to the full Parish Council meeting on 25 July, 2023. It summarises ZCC activities from April to June March 2023…
i. Fortune Way
ii. High Street
Fortune Way / Church Close has boxes on 10 houses with one more to go up. We believe that we have 8 active nests, which is up from 3 active nest last year. On two houses, box take up has been within three weeks of placement. One house played pre-recorded swift calls (using a small electronic device with a weatherproof speaker) to encourage swifts to investigate the box, the other did not.
The High Street has natural nest sites on at least two houses (at opposite ends of the street). Four boxes have been erected. One house played calls and has reported activity in one box. The other house has not played calls. No nest activity has been reported.
One box has also been erected further down the causeway (Edd Long) and two in Spring Lane (Clive and Jane Taylor; Michael and Jill Reeve). No activity yet.
Church Project – on 19 June, Peter Tiffin met the Church Warden with Gavin Vicary (of Northeast Herts Swifts) to evaluate the possibility of placing a swift cabinet, with 20 nest chambers, in the church tower. A proposal has been prepared and submitted to the Parochial Church Council (PCC). If approved, the next step will be to submit for Diocese approval.
A Swift Brick Petition (#626737) was started by the author Hannah Bourne-Taylor to make the use of swift bricks compulsory in new housing. Peter Tiffin wrote to Anthony Browne to ask for his support when it was debated in Parliament on 10 July.
Unfortunately, the debate stopped short of supporting the request to make swift bricks compulsory and left it to local authority discretion. Fortunately, the ecological assessment for the East of Spring Lane development includes a requirement to install swift bricks.
SwiftMapper is being updated with the information from this year’s nesting activities.
· Two boxes were installed in the churchyard. No active nests were seen.
· Four boxes were installed in Ford Wood. One was used by great tits, and one was used by blue tits. The Woodland Trust has been informed.
This type of nest box is included within the ecological requirement for the East of Spring Lane development.
Action Plan Update
The Climate Emergency Plan, developed in 2020 and approved by the Parish Council at the time, now requires an update and refresh based on experience from the last two and a half years. It will include a Nature Recovery Plan for the parish.
We will work with our newly appointed Council representative, Cllr Catherall, to ensure the updated plan can continue to be supported by the Council.
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