Swift action taken, but it's all for the birds...
Swifts are being tempted back to the town Wexford, with the provision of swish new nest boxes high on the walls of the old County Hall complex. The birds - related to the swallows and martins they resemble - have been in decline in recent years.
Ornithologists blame the fact that modern buildings are so well constructed that the swifts have no access to their favoured roosting sites in attics. So now the Tidy Towns committee is working with the Borough Council to lay on some top class accommodation and halt the slide.
Council craftsman Liam Kavanagh made the boxes, which provide a total of 12 cosy nests, from timber using a design provided by experts in Northern Ireland. His handiwork has now been attached high on a wall under the eaves of the old jailhouse.
Tidy Towns chairman Chris Culleton is has high hopes that new tenants will soon move in as swifts have already been seen flying around Wexford after returning from their winter quarters in Africa. He explained that the nest box project is part of the biodiversity campaign which is under way in Wexford.
Boxes designed for smaller birds such as tits have been installed in Redmond Park while the committee is also taking an interest in cemeteries such as those in John Street, Selskar and Patrick Square as haunts of interesting flora and fauna. Meanwhile, insect life is being lured to a new park in 98 Street by careful plant selection designed to appeal to butterflies and other eight-legged creatures.