We were over the moon to receive this award last week at the Nature of Scotland Awards when our Tayside Swifts projects received Highly Commended in the Community Initiatives category. The Nature of Scotland Awards recognise the very best in Scottish nature conservation and with lots of brilliant projects having been nominated, I was extremely pleased that our swift projects were recognised in such a way.
I first started working on Swift conservation about 15 years ago when the alarm bells began to ring about the huge drop in the numbers of these most amazing of birds, and have been working hard with communities ever since to map and conserve existing swift nest sites and erect nest boxes in good locations. In fact, swift conservation was why I started Perthshire Wildlife, when we were no longer allowed to run wildlife projects as part of our Ranger posts.
We had a wonderful evening there, meeting old friends and chatting to new ones – I even bumped into my school pal Rebecca, who is now a lecturer at Abertay University. There were interesting talks by Lorna Slater and Iolo Williams and I was quite excited to get my photo taken with Iolo and Arlene Stuart (in her wonderful dress, see pic below!).
I am hopeful that this may help in obtaining funding for more Swift projects in the future as we definitely need to keep Saving our Swifts!
Photos by Mike Wilkinson & Rebecca Wade.