Thursday 15 January 2015

Swift crusader gets RSPB recognition

The RSPB gives a "President's Award" to honour those volunteers who have made a truly outstanding contribution.

Stephen Fitt
And few have made a more outstanding contribution for Swifts than Stephen Fitt. Stephen has campaigned tirelessly to persuade planners, developers and architects in the South West to ensure that Swift boxes are installed in new buildings - a practice endorsed by planning institutions, and hopefully to be replicated nationally.

It was as recently as 2009 that it was officially recognised that Swifts were in trouble in the UK, when the species was amber-listed. The decline has been going on for far longer than the start of the Breeding Bird Survey, BBS, which monitors the population level each year.

Stephen was one of a number of people who, ahead of officaldom,  recognised the problem.

While Stephen would be the first to recognise that he is part of a team effort, it is good to see official recognition of both the plight of Swifts and of someone devoted to doing something about it.