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Local News Items

Information about New Milton and Major Events, Clubs  Societies and other local news

MAY 2023

NEW MILTON SWIFTS – Well, they’re back again in New Milton!


Swifts migrate from southern Africa to northern latitudes in the spring – a journey typically of around 6,000 miles.  They arrive with us in early May, find their mate and if they locate their old nest site, breed quickly.  The young fly the nest site in August then both adults and young depart our shores in late-August, flying back to southern Africa.



Swifts really are birds of the air.  They eat, sleep, drink and mate on the wing, landing only for brief periods, when breeding, in nooks and crannies in buildings during the period May to August.  Young birds, on leaving the nest site, do not breed until they are three years old, so they have no need to land, anywhere, in that time.  A grounded Swift cannot become airborne by itself.


Swifts are sneaky.  Quite often nest sites in houses go unnoticed by occupants as the birds go about their business rapidly and quietly.  Even when feeding young, which are often silent in the nest, they may only visit to feed three or four times in a day.  The family will roost together at night in the nest space and they are ultra-clean.  In fact, the only time anyone may be aware of Swifts in their area is during the summer, when they gather in small parties, wheeling around the sky, sometimes flying low down over roof-tops socialising and bonding with each other, with their high-pitched calls.


Swifts were more numerous in New Milton.  All over the country their population has dropped by 50% in the last 25-30 years.  They continue to decline at an alarming rate of about 5% per year.  Swifts, like many other of our once common breeding birds, are now on the Red-list of Birds of Conservation Concern.  The reason for this decline is simple – holes in buildings are being blocked when older wooden fascias and soffits (eaves) are replaced by tight-fitting plastic.  Birds are therefore excluded; birds which have used the same nest site for years and years no longer have a home.  Not only that, new spaces are limited so the numbers successfully breeding go down.  The majority now breed in artificial spaces provided.  Some years ago, New Forest District Council helped our local birds by making holes in some of their buildings in the town.


But all is not lost.  We can all help Swifts by providing purpose-built spaces for them in our homes, shops, commercial premises in the town centre, industrial buildings or churches. 


Hampshire Swifts is a registered charity and is passionate about Swifts.  Our dedicated team is trying to change the fortunes of these beautiful and enigmatic birds by encouraging householders, businesses, building developers, local councils, and the clergy to install purpose-built nesting sites.  They are promoting the installation of Swift-bricks ideally, or Swift-boxes, on any suitable property.  Locally, a few kind people are having Swift boxes attached to their houses, so fingers crossed for successful occupation in the years to come.


Hampshire Swifts makes and installs Swift-boxes or can retro-fit Swift-bricks.  Swift boxes start at £25 and are fitted free.  If you would like more information on how to help bring Swifts back to New Milton, please see the Hampshire Swifts website at www.hampshireswifts.co.uk  Alternatively contact their local representative Bob Lord on 07905-249587 or email robertlord123@btinternet.com


Thank you.





Do You Know What's On @The Quench?**

Hello! As we lead into the upcoming bank holidays, we wanted to let you all know what we have going on at our sister coffee shop, The Quench - next door to us in New Milton.

Did you know that we run lots of community activities at The Quench?

We believe nobody should feel lonely or be at a loose end and as a result we have a great calender of meets ups, classes and groups and we still have room fir more if you'd like to host your own!

Come alone or bring a friend, there are no strangers here, just new friends and a warm welcome. All we ask is that you buy a cuppa and a snack (Which could be as little as £4!) there is never a charge to participate in any of our activities or groups. Tell your friends, family, work colleagues and neighbours or pop in for a copy of our flyer to put up in your community or work space to spread the word. If you are interested in hosting your own group (A book club, knit and natter, crochet classes or a craft group for example) please get in touch.

We're also hoping to run some weekend events in our garden and cafe over the summer. We'll send details out of those when we have dates finalised. We may well be having another curry and quiz night - who knows!  Check out or current dates and see if there's anything that you or someone you know might like to come along to.....
Thank you

1.30 PM - 04:00 PM
Coffee & Dice Too
Come and join a happy band of game players and play board games - some new and some old favourites. Friendly chat and a good way to while away an afternoon.

10.30AM - 12.30AM
Backgammon Club

Come and join Alan from the New Forest Backgammon Club for a game or to learn! All abilities welcome from seasoned pros to complete beginners. Come along and play!

Third Wednesday of Each Month
(Except May 2023 which will be on the 10th May)
SSAFFA Breakfast Meet Up & Chat
Come and join other ex-services members for some like minded chat and remeniscences over a breakfast or a cake (Breakfasts start at £5.00) We give you a free cup of tea with every breakfast menu item ordered. All welcome and each social is hosted by a friendly SSAFFA volunteer

Friday Mornings
9.30 - 11.00
Chat Cafe
In association with the local GP surgeries come along and join in some light hearted chat and maybe make some new friends!  No agenda, just a chance for a chat and friendship over a cuppa.  Nobody should feel lonely and on a Friday morning you definitely shouldn't!  Come along, you'll have a warm welcome.

Last Saturday of Each Month

Gardening Club Get Together & Swap Meet
Whether it's indoor plants or garden plants and veg that are your bag, our monthly Gardening Club Meet Up is for you!  9.30-11.30 at The Quench (in the garden if it's nice) our plant lady, Abi will be hosting Gardening Club!  Come and chat all things plants, swap or sell your excess produce, seeds, cuttings or splits.
Get advice from like minded Gardeners and plant lovers and enjoy a couple of hours (or however long you want to stay) over a cuppa.
Last Saturday of each month.
27 May
24 June
29 July
26 August
30 September and beyond ....
Stick the dates in your diary and come along for some informal and light hearted plant chat. Everyone is welcome.

Thursdays 25th May & 12th October
11.00AM - 1.00PM

Oakhaven Wellbeing Pop Ups
Come and meet Jude & the team from Oakhaven Hospice to ask any questions you might have or to learn about the work done by the hospice for the whole community, not just those directly under their care. Learn how to access their services and and find out what they can do for you. Everyone welcome. ]<-

Hope to see you there,

Kathy & The Team