Some of Kendal's favourite summer visitors will have a new place to stay in the new year.

Thanks to a collaboration between a local, community-led group, Kendal Town Council and the new Lidl store, migrating birds will be better protected when they arrived in Cumbria.

The store on Beezon Road now features six swift boxes, three boxes for sparrows and a bat box.

Ros Taylor of Kendal Swifts said: “When we saw that Lidl were intending to do extensive refurbishment of the Homebase building, we saw an opportunity for the builders to include swift boxes for our beloved, but beleaguered birds.

"We have had longstanding support from the members of Kendal Town Council, and are delighted that once again they supported our proposal.”

The Westmorland Gazette: Councillor Rathbone points out the new bird boxesCouncillor Rathbone points out the new bird boxes (Image: Kendal Town Council)

Councillor Doug Rathbone, Chair of Kendal Town Council’s Planning Committee, explained that the decision was born out of concerns over the area's biodiversity.

"The work of Kendal Swifts Group serves to remind us that very small actions in the planning process can have very positive outcomes," Mr Rathbone detailed.

"It’s great that Lidl were able to incorporate these simple but effective boxes in their regeneration of the Beezon Road site."

At a meeting of the Lakeland town council’s Planning Committee at the end of November, members watched an informative short film from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds before considering an application which included making provisions for nesting birds.

Councillor Helen Ladhams, the Committee’s Vice Chair, added: “If all developers matched these actions, we could go a long way towards redressing the decline in population of these important migrating species. 

"If we encourage one sort of non-predatory bird, more will also nest.”

Lidl agreed to be a part of the scheme in their aim to benefit the 'whole of the local area'.

"These boxes have been a great addition to our Kendal store and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors when they return next May," Regional Head of Property, David Murphy, said.