Bernicia delivers “swift” service at Burnside

Bernicia has taken steps to secure the future of swift migration to Bedlington Station.

Having recently carried out a substantial improvement programme at over 180 properties at Burnside, Bedlington Station, which included replacing timber fascias and soffits with UPVC, Bernicia staff were alerted to the fact that swifts had been nesting in the properties’ wooden fascias for many years, and that tenants would like to see this continue.

Steve Burke, team leader for customer involvement at Bernicia, said: “Several of our tenants were concerned that the improvement work would prevent the swifts from accessing their nesting places due to the replacements of the old wooden fascias and soffits”.

“It is a well-known problem for swifts in Britain that modern roof building techniques no longer provide the small gaps and spaces found in older construction design. As a result of this lack of nesting space, these captivating summer visitors are declining in number and are now being added to the British Conservation Review’s ‘amber list’ of Conservation Importance”.

“Fortunately, a member of our staff has a great deal of wildlife knowledge and was able to work with contractors to solve the problem, therefore alleviating tenant concerns. Small platforms were set into each of the newly installed fascias to allow the birds access under the eaves, but not into the roof space.”

Andrea Malcolm, group assistant director at Bernicia, added: “This is just one example of how Bernicia takes tenant feedback on board and looks to ensure that any problems raised are addressed efficiently”.

“Steve and the team and at Burnside have done a fantastic job of listening to the needs of their tenants and coming up with a solution which is beneficial for all.”

Picture shows swift nesting shelf being incorporated into new roofline works.