WHAT TO DO
ADRIAN THOMAS RSPB wildlife gardening expert House Martin and Swift are two great species to aim for, both of which need our help these days. Height off the ground and a clear flight line into the box are the critical things for these two. Swifts in particular like a good 5m of ground clearance. New research is suggesting that integrated Swift boxes get a much higher rate of occupancy than external boxes, but don’t let that put you off if you really can’t bear to have someone cut into the wall. Both types of boxes should ideally be right up under the eaves, of course, where the overhang gives them much of their shelter. And then the vital ingredient is patience! Tape lure calls can at least alert passing birds to the nests, but it can still take several years. And do take care up that ladder, Matt!