SOS Save our Swallows

Last year Greater Anglia painted the ceiling at Woodbridge train station and in the process destroyed the nests of the House Martins that have been nesting there since 1859, leading to no fledglings. This year to avoid the martins coming back Greater Anglia have put up bird wires everywhere to stop them nesting again and have been insistent that the martins do damage though in fact they don’t. Because the Martins have basically been evicted during last year’s nesting season, in contravention of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, something that does do damage has filled the niche.

Air Rat

Air Rat Nesting at Woodbridge Station

Instead of martins, the station now has nesting air rats. It is well known that air rats make a mess and the nesting air rat pictured is making quite a mess on the platform. They’ve messed all over the schedule screen and if you look up at the rafters the mess is colossal. The only way to get rid of air rats is by introducing sparrow hawks or peregrines. The problem there is that they eat House Martins as well. Caroline Page has the substance of a letter written by a Woodbridge resident to Greater Anglia on her blog here.

Also, if you want to encourage Swallows and martins to nest, you can pick up an artificial nest from RSPB. Swallows and House Martins struggle to find mud in dry weather so people can also make mud pies to leave out for the them.

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