Harleston set to launch community drives to help swifts and road system

Flag Force member Robin Twigge welcomes swifts to Harleston

Flag Force member Robin Twigge welcomes swifts to Harleston - Credit: Archant

Residents of a market town are invited to the launch of two new initiatives at an event which will also celebrate a year of community events.

At the annual meeting of Harleston's Future, hosted by the Swan Hotel, the organisation will set out plans for the coming 12 months.

The open event will see the launch of Swift Action Harleston which aims to improve the fortunes of the town's swifts, which have been declining rapidly in recent years.

A main part of the plan will include inviting members of the community to sign up to have new nest sites on their houses.

Ian Carstairs, conservationist and Harleston's Future volunteer, said: 'When we flew swift flags in the town this year, many people said they'd like to play a part in ensuring that there will always be a welcome for the swifts here in Harleston. The challenge now is to devise a co-ordinated plan to turn the idea into practical 'Swift Action'.'

The town recently installed a pair of special box tiles and four nest boxes on the leisure centre as part of Redenhall with Harleston Town Council's view on conservation.

The meeting will also launch a hearts and minds campaign in response to work carried out over the last year by Harleston's Future and the town council to improve the relationship between pedestrians and traffic in the town.

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Recently, the council put forward ideas to Norfolk County Highways for possible improvements and in support Harleston's Future has identified the benefit of a campaign to discuss how the town is used by pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicle users.

Norman Hart, chairman of Harleston's Future, said: 'Safety is paramount and with such a high volume of traffic at peak times in very confined spaces and with narrow pavements, enjoying the use of the town centre depends heavily on thinking for each other.'

The open evening is also an opportunity for the community to share in a round-up of the events of the last year, as well as to find out about proposals for the coming months.

The meeting, which is open to everyone, will be held at the Swan Hotel on The Thoroughfare on Thursday, October 29 at 7.30pm.

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