In Conservation With… interview

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Sarah Gibson

Swifts & Us

Each summer swifts bring us three months’ joy, scything over the rooftops in screaming groups, stirring wonder and excitement in those that notice them. In Sarah’s book, Swifts and Us, she writes a story of discovery, exploring aspects of the swift’s life, from its earliest beginnings 50 million years ago to recent revelations about migration routes garnered from geolocators.Swifts nest in our towns, cities and villages and this is a story of people too. Of the value of swifts in our lives and their dependence on us to keep providing them with nest sites. So this is a story of people too: of those who have studied swifts, those who rehabilitate casualties and particularly, those who are taking conservation action to help them.

For the past 20 years Sarah has worked for Shropshire Wildlife Trust, soaking up knowledge of nature from earthstars to Emperor Moths; from Pied Flycatchers to Pine Martens. Regrettably, she has also absorbed much about biodiversity loss, habitat degradation and pollution. Her work at the Wildlife Trust has been to communicate the fabulousness of nature, the perils it faces and what people can do to help turn things around. And how, by reinvigorating nature, we can renew ourselves too.

Sarah Gibson’s first book, Swifts and Us, The Life of the Bird that Sleeps in the Sky (William Collins) will be published in May.

Learn about the wondrous Swifts