This awesome picture of a swallow returning to feed its young was taken by my husband Fred, two summers ago. In the top right hand corner of the picture you can see a U-shaped cut in the door. This is how we let the swallows in and out of the sheds throughout the gardens to breed.
When we first started work to the gardens there was only one nesting pair left. Now there are 4 pairs. We have also become an important staging post for swallows moving south. In September the sky explodes with swallows and house martins feeding in the tops of the big trees in the gardens and park or diving low over the meadows and the little river.
Yesterday, for the first time, we saw this phenomenon in the Spring. Clouds of swallows fed over the gardens all day. Very exciting for us and a lifeline for migrating birds.