Legal Protection & Status

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Swifts and their nests are fully protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This protection makes it an offence to 

intentionally kill, injure or take a swift; take, damage or destroy the eggs of a swift or a nest whilst it is being built or in use.

Bird of Conservation Concern (BoCC)

Due to its declining breeding status, the swift is considered a ‘Bird of Conservation Concern’ (BoCC). All BoCCs are further categorised (red, amber or green) against specific criteria to determine their conservation needs; red species are those requiring the highest conservation priority, amber is the next most critical group, followed by green. The swift is categorised as an amber species.

For more detail on this, download Birds of conservation concern 3 - 2009

Planning Policy Statement 9: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation (PPS9)

Planning Policy Statement 9: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation (PPS9) outlines that the Government’s objectives for planning are:

"to contribute to renewal and urban renaissance by enhancing biodiversity in green spaces and among developments so that they are used by wildlife and valued by people, recognising that healthy functional ecosystems can contribute to a better quality of life and to people’s sense of well being; and ensuring that developments take account of the role and value of biodiversity in supporting economic diversification and contributing to a high quality environment."

Photo Credit:
© Derek Brown courtesy of 

© Derek Brown courtesy of 


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