In 2012 we reported on the success of nest boxes in All Saints church, now increased to 20 occupied nest boxes in 2014. Originally, back in 2009, Judith Wakelam raised the alarm when a cottage with breeding swifts was scheduled to be knocked down.
Swift boxes were installed by Action for Swifts as mitigation for the loss of these nest sites. Don McBean, who lives right next to the church organised an attraction call player and, eventually, cameras in the boxes after Swifts took up residence. A Swift Fest event in July 2013 attracted 200 people to observe a truly great spectacle.
Ironically, the conservation award was judged in Worlington in August 2014 after all of the Swifts had departed, but despite this, Judith's vivid description of the spectacle that they had missed was enough.
The following appeared in the Newmarket Journal:
Worlington, Forest Heath's Village of the Year, lost out on the county title to Whatfield but on Saturday it was awarded the Suffolk Wildlife Trust Award for conservation, recognising projects in the village, including one aimed at encouraging swifts run by Judith Wakelam and featured in the journal earlier this year. Other initiatives included not cutting areas of the churchyard in the growing season and planting hedge plants. Pictured above are, from left, Gill Jones, Val McClure and Judith Wakelam with their winners' certificates.