Two swallows on a wire

Swallows (Photo: Ben Stammers)

1. The Milford Swallows

It is again the time of the year when swallows are gathering on wires in our villages and towns preparing for their mass flight south.

However, in 2007 a small group of swallows wintered in the Chevron oil refinery in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire. Employees became aware of the birds and helped to protect their roosts, and the birds appeared to survive the winter.

Could this be the first sign of a new migration pattern such as that of blackcaps, which now winter in significant numbers in different parts of the UK? Could these new behaviours reveal signs of global climate change?

In this project ointment will explore a local phenomenon in relation to its global context. Through field research and collaboration with ornithologists, the artists will examine the context of this story, and respond to the ideas and sensations it generates.

This project will form a basis of enquiry that acknowledges how extraordinary local events are traditionally immortalized in folk culture. The Abercych residency with Ceri and Ben will illustrate how these forms have always recorded and preserved such stories as anecdotal archive. The Milford Swallows project is the beginning of a longer scale enquiry by ointment into migration as a dynamic natural and cultural phenomenon that has both local and global consequences.

With folk musician and composer Ceri Rhys Matthews and visual / live artist Ben Stammers.

18 October 2008, Live Event, Abercych Village Hall, North Pembrokeshire, SA37 0HB

4pm Introduction and Performances

5.30pm Food

6pm Public discussion with artists and ornithologists

For more information and directions visit or phone 01239 841488. Find Abercych on Google Maps


Supported by The Arts Council of Wales, ointment, with thanks to Pembrokeshire County Council and Neuadd Abercych.


2. we continue to knit, drink tea, whittle, whistle and walk...