Friday, 18 July 2014

Swifts do prefer boxes with concaves

There is little in the way of statistics that support what Swifts might prefer in their breeding location, so I was pleased to get this result.

by Dick
Feathers added by a pair of Swifts to a concave
Photo Judith Wakelam
Some years ago, we put 24 nest boxes in St Mary's Ely, with a concave in every other box. So 12 boxes with and 12 without a concave. When we examined the boxes a couple of years later, 10 were occupied, 7 with a concave and 3 without. So, it appeared that Swifts prefer a box with a concave. However, the probability of this being a chance result was 'high' at 10.7%

This year we put 18 new nest boxes in Worlington church, again with a concave in every other box. So 9 with and 9 without a concave. We have checked the boxes and 6 boxes were occupied, 5 with a concave and just 1 without. The probability of this result by chance is even higher at 16.7%.

Neither of these experiments passed the statisticians test for 'certainty' of 5%, but together, they do.

The probability of both of these results occuring by chance is 10.7% x 16.7% = 1.8%

So now we can be sure that Swifts do prefer boxes with concaves.

Not only that, but 2 of these boxes contained chicks, supporting the assertion that breeding in the first year of occupancy is more likely in a nest-box with a concave. So, on our next visit to St Mary's we will insert a concave in all nestboxes.

We need more experiments like this e.g.:
Dark interior versus light interior
Oval entrance versus rectangular entrance
Rough exterior versus smooth exterior
Large box versus small box

[For the technically minded, for the statistics I used the Excel HYPGEOMDIST() function.]

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Neat internal nest boxes in Nijmegen

We thought it worth reblogging 3 pictures from Jochem Kühnen's website, as they show just how unobtrusive, simple and effective built in nest-boxes can be.  Swifts are already occupying these nest-boxes.

Facade with virtually invisible entrances
Jochem says:
"I suggested several suitable nest bricks to the architects, and they went for this one. They placed 40 in the project in total, 10 in the facade where a Swift went in last week. I'm very happy with this development, this is a very busy square in the middle of the city centre, so a nice place to show people Swifts. Who knows, one day I'll go and stand there with a table with info to show passers by!"

The entrances were made by simply cutting a piece out of a brick and then positioning the Schwegler nest-box behind it



Entrance close-up
Schwegler internal nestbox

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Cambridge International Swift Conference 2014 - summary proceedings


For those who missed this conference, we have produced a summary.

The Summary Proceedings can be found on tinyurl.com/cisc2014
Image quality is better if you download it and view it as a pdf.


Thursday, 12 June 2014

A new house with 9 new Swift boxes

[Note a download containing many more pictures is available in the Downloads section on the right]

Bob Tonks already has 4 occupied external Swift boxes on his present house in Milton. He has now built a new house in Histon with a number of internal nestboxes of various designs and entrance configurations. 

The ideas are simple, of low cost and minimal inconvenience to the builder.
The following pictures should be self explanatory, click any one to see them enlarged:

Entrance made by 2 simple cuts in one brick
The above entrance leads to a box fashioned out of an air brick liner embedded in the inner wall

Air brick liner with entrance

Although unconventional, this simple idea provides a vertical slot
The vertical slot leads to a marine plywood box embedded in the inner wall. This box has a perspex back.
Two of these plyswood boxes also have a horizontally oriented entrance
3 entrances in a gable end. All of the boxes behind these entrances are made of marine plywood and
are embedded in the inner wall.

4 neat entrances into the eaves
Eaves nestbox design

Eaves nestbox installed



Saturday, 31 May 2014

Beijing Swift movies at the Summer Palace

It is difficult to grasp the spectacle of the Swifts breeding in the Kuoru Ting pavilion, in the Summer Palace, but these two videos give you some idea:

by Lyndon Kearsley

First, Swifts flying around the outside, where ~50 pairs breed:

.
... and on the inside, where another ~50 pairs breed:


The flute player inside the pavilion was particularly loud.  Similar loud performances occur most days, but it does not seem to bother the Swifts.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Pekinensis

Back in the 80's and 90's I regularly went to China, especially in May where I led trips to Beidaihe with Tony Marr for Wildwings. These trips invariably included a trip to the Summer Palace in Beijing where one of the enduring memories was the fabulous swift colony in the Kuoru Ting pavilion by the lake. This is one of many beautiful buildings at the Summer Palace housing a swift colony, with about 100 pairs of swifts. 

by Dick Newell


Kuoru Ting pavillion, Summer Palace, Beijing. Photo Lyndon Kearsley
On a previous trip to Cape Town in January 2005, I had seen rather pale Common Swifts on Table Mountain, so I wondered, had these birds come from Beijing? 

Pekinensis Common Swift, in the sun, showing a contrasting
dark back.The underparts are also darker than the wings and tail.
Photo dick Newell
So, when, by chance, I ran into Terry Townshend, a European bird watcher living in Beijing, at a Birdlife International event in London in December 2013, it was not long before we hatched a scheme to put geolocators on the Summer Palace swifts.

Pekinensis swifts are a bit special, they are different from our Swifts, paler, more like Pallid Swifts and their call is softer, also resembling Pallid Swift to our ear. Beijing is not far from the eastern extreme of the species' range.

After Terry's return to Beijing, and a few weeks, and a few emails later,  we had ourselves a project. By now Lyndon Kearsley, ringer and geolocator fitter extraordinaire, was signed up, as was the Beijing Birdwatching Society. BBWS has been running a project to ring the Summer Palace swifts since 2007, taking over from Beijing Capital Normal University who started this survival study in 1992.

We originally planned to take just 10 geolocators, then Susanne Åkesson, director of the Centre for Animal Movement Research (CAnMove) at Lund University gave us 20 more. The 10 turned out to be 11, so we arrived in Beijing with 31 geolocators to fit.

So, on 23rd May, we arrived in Beijing, planning up to 3 days to catch enough birds to fit 31 geolocators. The evening of 23rd was spent giving a workshop to members of Beijing Capital Normal University and the Beijing Birdwatching Society on how to fit geolocators. They all picked it up very quickly.

Lyndon holding the attention of the Chinese geolocator team Photo Dick Newell

On 24th May, at 5:00am we arrived at the Summer Palace to find the pavilion enclosed in mistnets, Swifts were already being caught on their way out. Two and a half hours later, we had deployed all 31 geolocators. This is testament to the meticulous planning, organisation and competence of the Chinese team.

Pekinensis Common Swift, with geolocator fitted, awaiting release. Photo Dick Newell

We would like to thank, first of all, Terry for making all the right contacts in Beijing and Wu Lan, from the BBWS, who has worked miracles to ensure the Chinese authorities were comfortable with the project.

For a further account, with more pictures see Terry's blogpost on birdingbeijing.com and a more complete account on Birding Frontiers also written by Terry, For an interesting account of Beijing Swifts see this film, featuring Professor Gao, who we met at the Summer Palace.

One bird of the ~50 pairs nesting inside the dome of the pavilion. Most of the birds fitted with
 geolocators were nesting here, with another ~50 pairs in the outside rim. Photo Dick Newell


Friday, 16 May 2014

Extremadura Swift Conference

This event looks well worth publicising, and they have produced a brilliant poster, which we couldn't resist posting here:


Full details of the program, in Spanish are here:
http://visitaalange.es/festival-de-vencejos-de-alange-programa/

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Swift Conference - the movie

We held the conference, and now you can watch the movie!




Read the whole story on Birdguides

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

BB eye - citizen Action for Swifts

British Birds magazine runs a feature, called 'BB eye' every month, where contributors are invited to spotlight something controversial,  something they have a passion about, or something that needs saying.

So we contributed a piece, for the May 2014 issue, about Swifts, highlighting the need for people in the building trade, as well as individuals to put up large numbers of Swift nestboxes in coming decades.

Gray Jolliffe, author and cartoonist extraordinaire of the Daily Mail communicated the message far better than any words:



You can read the whole BB eye piece here

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Retrofitted Swift boxes in a gable end

These are the neatest and most professional retrofitted internal Swift boxes we have seen.
The pictures below tell their own story, but first, in his own words:

Michael Osborne

9 neat entrances in a gable end
There are more pictures on the Read more button below
We hired the equipment - a diamond drill and 117mm dry core. All the holes were drilled from inside to out. The breakout on the outer brick face is minimal if you back the drill pressure off when nearly through. Main thing to make sure is that the drill being used has a clutch and not to use the hammer action as it damages the diamond tips of the core.

The core has a pilot bit in the centre. It's best to start the drilling off with the pilot in place then remove it once the core is started, otherwise it slows drilling down.

The entrance plates are made from 12mm exterior cement board and cut using a tile cutter blade in a standard Jigsaw. The entrance holes were cut out by drilling through with a masonry bit big enough to get the Jigsaw in to then cut out the shape. To try and avoid the birds confusing entrances, I made some of the holes semi-circle shapes. They're all 29mm by 75mm. The runways inside the tubes are made from the same material as the entrances, glued into place using Sticks Like All Weather Adhesive. 

All of the entrances and runways were sealed with a brick sealant called Stormdry prior to painting. The tubes and entrance plate assemblies were then sealed into the wall using an exterior sealant.

The pipe used is a standard 110mm (external diameter) soil pipe, available at most DIY stores.

To match the brickwork I bought a number of Sandtex tester pots and mixed them in situ on the ladder to match the surrounding bricks - adding sand to get the correct texture.
The boxes are made from 12mm marine ply and are all 450mm x 310mm internally. The internal height is 200mm apart from a few boxes which needed to be reduced in order to fit them into the space. 

All of the boxes are wrapped in insulation to try and reduce heat transfer from the loft which gets hot during the summer. The angled brackets which the boxes are screwed to the wall with are available from B&Q. I've then sealed around any gaps between the box and the wall with a gap filler. The hinged backs have an acrylic viewing panel in them which have slideable covers on the outside - just in case the loft light is turned on accidentally!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Monday, 17 March 2014

Experimental Swift brick

by Dick

In publicising this idea, it is in the spirit of encouraging people to do experiments, rather than an idea that should be rolled out extensively, not yet anyway. The idea came out of the success of the air brick liner Swift bricks at St Neots. 

Swift brick with 2 fostered Swifts. Photo Judith Wakelam
The air brick liner Swift brick has internal dimensions: width 175mm x length 200 x height 100mm.

It thus occupies a space of length 1 brick and height 2 courses of brick. We wondered about a brick of height 1 brick - would this be acceptable to Swifts?

So, we built some prototypes out of 5mm thick fibre cement board. These have internal dimensions: width 150mm x length 225mm x height 75mm.

Swift exploring a Swift brick. Photo Clarke Brunt
In 2013, we installed 6 of these on 3 houses, all of whom were playing attraction calls. We managed to get Swifts to enter 2 of the boxes at one site, and we had them clinging to the boxes at a second site.

For the experiments, we have not knocked bricks out of any walls yet, but we have installed them under eaves with a simple wooden harness.

The width of these boxes could extend across the cavity, which, in modern houses, may be as much as 100mm, allowing a box width of 200mm. Also the length could be extended to 1.5 bricks ~330mm long. This would fit well in a Flemish bond.

4 fostered Swift chicks in a Swift brick
If this idea works, it would be the easiest thing to retro-fit into a wall, and may provide least resistance in the housing trade to install many of them in new build. We feel it could be a game changer.

For anyone who would like to have a go at this, please get in touch.


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Nest concave tool

by Dick

We previously advocated soft fibre-board for making nest concaves, here. Up until now, we have made these by gluing together two layers of fibre-board to make a blank 25mm thick, then scooping out the concave on a lathe. Here we have a better idea.

The tool mounted above a blank, and the tool in action, right.
The cutting edges are bevelled at 30°


A friend of mine has made a tool to be used in a pillar drill. Setting the pillar drill to its slowest speed, 210 rpm, it does a nice job of very quickly excavating the concave, without creating clouds of carcinogenic dust.

The material of the blade is 3mm gauge plate.

It takes less than a minute to scoop out each concave.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Little Swift colony rescue

This is a reblog, with kind permission, of a report which appeared in the October 2013 issue of the Birdlife South Africa e-Newsletter. It is a heartening story about the rescue of a colony of Little Swifts, Apus affinis, in a building in Rustenburg, a city situated at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountain range in North West Province. It shows what you can do if you:
[1] approach the property owner in the right way;
[2] win the trust of the builders;
[3] add a little gentle pressure by involving the local media.

Little Swift in the hand   

Members of BirdLife Rustenburg were first alerted to a bird problem when we received a call from a property agent. The agent stated that there were a lot of swallows with chicks in an old motor dealership that was being converted into a shopping complex. The builder had been instructed to close off the original entrance by building two walls. The builder had spoken to the agent, saying that if he completed the building then the young swallows would be trapped.
On visiting the site, it was found that there was a large colony of Little Swifts present. It was obviously not breeding season but the builder had based his comments on the bird’s small size. We immediately commenced negotiating with the new owner to delay a portion of the building operations.

Ringing at the Little Swift colony
In order to add force to our negotiations, the local newspaper (Rustenburg Herald) was called in and they immediately ran the story. A compromise was reached with the new owners, who agreed to suspend building the final section until early summer. At this point it would be warm enough for the swifts to relocate.
One of our new members, a registered ringer, suggested that we ring the birds. All in all about 100 Little Swifts were ringed and again our local newspaper ran the story along with pictures of the birds being ringed.
A successful venture and we now wait with a little trepidation to see where the new colony will be formed.
View of Rustenburg, North West Province, South Africa

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Internal boxes with entrances fashioned from an air brick liner

From many points of view, built in nest-boxes are to be preferred to those hung on the outside of a wall, particularly if placed high up in a gable end within a roof-space. The nestboxes are secure, out of the sun and rain, and they provide a minimum of visual impact to the building. Although very easy to incorporate while a building is being put up, it is also not that difficult to retrofit them, but it does require some level of building skill. We have documented 2 examples here and here


The original double-walled external nest box and entrances to 3 new internal nest boxes
Model 400 air brick liner 220 x 200 x 65mm
Here is another idea using entrances made out of an air brick liner - this time the model 400 on page 10 of this PDF. This air brick liner has a hole 30mm high.

We previously described the success of a single, heat-proof nest box on the outside of Judith Wakelam's bungalow in Worlington. As Judith wished to have more nest boxes we decided to build 3 nestboxes inside the attic, rather than add more outside on this south-facing gable end.


Entrance fabrication
The air brick was cut up with an angle grinder, then the 3 component pieces were glued together with a resin glue, suitable for stonework. One can get at least 4 entrances out of 1 air brick liner.

A hole was made in the outer wall by removing 50mm from each side of a vertical bond in the brickwork, leaving a space big enough for half a brick - the size of the entrance piece. This can be done very neatly by drilling a hole through the mortar then using a sabre saw to cut the brick.


Bill Murrells installing the entrances. Photo Judith Wakelam
In this case, the inner wall was made of concrete blocks, so we chose to replace the height of a block with a nest-box, abutted against the outer wall with a waterproof membrane between the box and the wall. Alternatively, we could have used a 100mm core drill to make a hole in the inner wall providing access through a 100mm pipe to the nest box which would be hung on the inner wall.


Bill finishing off the installation. Photo Judith Wakelam
The nest boxes were made of weather-proof plywood. The removable wooden backs conceal a perspex 'window' to provide direct viewing when any birds become established.

Each box was fitted with a soft fibre-board nest concave.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Bird Atlas 2007-11: what does it say about Swifts?

The preface to this monumental work says that this book will set the agenda for bird conservation for the next 20 years. We are therefore interested to see what it says about Swifts, in particular what has happened since the previous Atlases in 1968-72 and 1988-91?
Perhaps the most important takeway is that Swifts have been declining for at least 40 years, something not brought out in more recent datasets.

Click maps to enlarge

The Breeding Distribution Map shows all those 10km squares in which at least 1 pair of Swifts was found possibly, probably or proved breeding. Swifts breed in virtually every square apart from north and west Scotland, and the western part of Ireland. 

If one compared it with the equivalent map for 1988-91, it would appear similar because relatively few squares have completely lost, or gained Swifts in the intervening years. However, the two maps below reveal more clearly what has actually been going on.


 


The Breeding Relative Abundance Change Map gives a graphical representation in the change in occupied tetrads in each 20km square between the two Atlases. Red signifies an increase, blue a decrease: the darker the colour the bigger the change.

This map shows that rather more squares decreased in this measure than increased. 

Though the overall pattern is one of decline, there are some areas of good news, including southern Ireland in a country where overall there have been the most decreases.


The Breeding Distribution Change Map highlights those 10km squares that have completely lost or gained breeding Swifts since the previous two Atlases in 1968-72 and 1988-91. A black triangle means a loss, a red triangle means a gain. A small triangle signifies the change since 1968-72 and a large triangle since 1988-91. 

There are far more losses than gains. It is clear that Swifts have been losing ground for at least the last 40 years, As one might expect, the losses are concentrated in those areas where Swifts are more sparsely distributed, particularly Ireland, parts of Wales and north and western Scotland. 

A low density population is more likely to disappear than a higher one. It is on the edges of a species distribution where change is most obvious. 

So the Atlas is telling the same story as the Breeding Bird Census and the trends in BirdTrack reporting rates. It is helpful that there is no ambiguity in the trends determined by these three BTO datasets, it means conservation decisions can be made with there being little doubt about what the data is telling us.

You can read more about the Atlas, with an excellent promotional video here

Acknowledgements
Thank you to Dawn Balmer and the BTO for permission to publish these maps.

Reference
Balmer, D.E., Gillings, S., Caffrey, B. J., Swann, R. L., Downie, I. S. & Fuller, R. J. 2013. Bird Atlas 2007-11: The breeding and wintering birds of Britain and Ireland. BTO Books, Thetford.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Fulbourn internal nest box design

As the provision of internal nest boxes on the 'Swifts' estate in Fulbourn has proved so successful, we thought it worthwhile to document in detail how it was done. 


Assembly of cavity panel, entrance pipe and nest box
Exploded view
Holes with pipes inserted
Cavity Panels added
Internal box, made of marine plywood
Entrance pipes through insulation, before brickwork

We have described here the success of internal nest boxes in Fulbourn, which seem to be greatly preferred by Swifts to external nestboxes:

In 2013, Swifts used 66 out of 139 internal nest boxes, but only 9 out of 88 external nest boxes. The internal boxes were custom made out of marine plywood, the external boxes were Schwegler 1MF's

All of the internal boxes are placed in roof spaces (attics) above the level of any living quarters. So nice and high for the Swifts and out of the way of humans. Typically, entrances are provided through a gable end.

A 4 inch core drill was used to drill a hole through the brickwork and insulation. In these houses there was no cavity, just a thick layer of insulation inside the brickwork. A 4 inch pipe provided a route from the entrance cavity panel to the nest box.

Why is Fulbourn so successful?
70 pairs of Swifts were displaced from their old nest sites, so there was a large surplus of established birds looking for somewhere to breed. This shows that, contrary to advice sometimes given, it is well worth providing replacement nest sites, even if you cannot put them close to the old nesting places.

The difference between the internal and external nest boxes is that the entrances face in different directions - maybe it was easier for these birds, desperate to find somewhere to breed, to spot the horizontally-facing entrances of the internal boxes first.

Starlings occupied many of the Schwegler 1MF's, this could have deterred the Swifts from using these boxes.

Perhaps Swifts particularly like to have a certain distance between the entrance and the nesting place, provided by the 4 inch pipe.

There was a limited amount of attraction call playing, but in this case, it was probably a minor factor.

What might one do differently
It may be relevant to ask what one might do differently, not that it is necessary to do anything differently - as it works very well.

The inside of the pipe was roughened to give the Swifts a grip. It might be easier to use a small amount of cement mortar to give a rough flat path.

The entrance hole is placed in the centre of the box. Swifts may prefer it off centre, nearer one end.

The boxes are quite large, with a floor area 400-500mm x 140mm. 300-400mm x 175mm might be better proportioned.

The pictures, left, should be self explanatory - click any one to see enlarged versions of all of them.

Acknowlegement
Thanks are due to Rob Mungovan of South Cambs District Council who was the driving force behind this project and also for the use of his pictures.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Swifts in the Maiden Tower

The Maiden Tower, Baku
Here is a heartening story from Azerbaijan. In the capital, Baku, an historic local landmark known as the Maiden's Tower has been home to swifts for many years. Holes in its crumbling walls have provided nestplaces for about 250 Swifts for the past 30 or 40 years.

The tower is now being repaired in order to combat a hundred years of weather damage. But the repair, when completed, will leave only about 40 holes usable by the Swifts.

Fortunately, a project is underway to install additional specially-designed Swift nestboxes on nearby local buildings to compensate for the loss. This work is being carried out on the initiative of the State Historical-Architectural Reserve of Azerbaijan, whose Deputy Director, Samir Nuriyev, is making a presentation of the Baku Swift Project at our Cambridge InternationalConference in April 2014.

For a fascinating preview, listen to this podcast of an interview with Samir on Irish Radio. Also, for more information, visit www.swift-conservation.org, whose Director, Edward Mayer, offered valuable advice to Samir and his team.

New accommodation in nearby building

Friday, 13 December 2013

What should you feed a Swift?



Any experienced Swift rehabber will tell you that giving Swifts a diet of catmeat, mealworms and the like will have disastrous consequences. Yet, intuitively, that's what most of us would do if we didn't know better. Well-meaning, but misguided, we reason that the Swift is an insectivorous bird, so it will welcome a substitute meat diet if we haven't got any insects to hand.
So, we know anecdotally that you should avoid certain foods when bringing on a Swift, but now there is scientific evidence to support the assertion. An article appearing in a recent issue of JZAR, the Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research describes the results of an experiment carried out by Enric Fusté and colleagues at the Centre de Recuperació de Fauna Selvatge de Torreferrussa in Catalunya.
The team hand-reared a total of 116 chicks which they divided into four groups, each fed a different diet:
Two “meat” diets
1. rat mince diet, a specific pathogen-free laboratory rat mince; 
2. kibble diet, a formula based on a high-protein–low-carbohydrate cat food; 
and two “insect” diets: 
3. cricket diet, based on house crickets (Acheta domesticus) and wax moth larvae (Galleria mellonella)
4. mealworm diet, based on mealworm larvae (Tenebrio molitor). All the chicks were given vitamin and other supplements to ensure that they were not put at undue risk.
The results were clear: birds fed on the meat diets (1 and 2) had significantly lower weights than those fed on diets (3 and 4). Additionally, features such as feather growth and feather quality were significantly lower in the meat-fed groups. You can download a pdf file of the complete report here. We are also fortunate that Enric Fusté is giving a talk at our Cambridge International Swift Conference next April.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Swift and Positive Change at Premier Inn Exeter

This is a heartening story of how a major hotel chain is providing accommodation for Swifts and other wildlife in its new developments. We thought it worth reblogging their press release in full.

Premier Inn Exeter, Honiton Road, is opening its doors to some very special guests: guests which will travel thousands of miles, battling the elements and crossing oceans before settling down in their comfortable hotel.

The guests I am referring to are Swifts, the small migratory birds with distinctive curved wings often seen in the sky on warm summer evenings. These magnificent birds make the epic journey from Africa twice a year, tracking the warmer climates across the earth; a breeding adult Swift can travel up to 4 million miles in its lifetime, stopping only to breed.

A computer generated image of a new
Premier Inn Hotel in Cambridge
In recent years these wonderful birds have found it increasingly difficult to find nest space on our shores. They are an amber listed species in the UK, meaning the birds are in decline and in need of protection.

Whitbread is always looking for ways in which it can positively impact on the environment, whether it is through saving water or reducing our carbon footprint. So doing our part to help these birds was a challenge we leapt at.

The RSPB has advised Whitbread on the best way to give these birds a safe place to nest. As a result of our joint efforts, Premier Inn Exeter, Honiton Road, now has 21 Swift boxes installed into the fabric of the hotel, recreating the natural space the birds need to reproduce.

Now travellers human and avian can enjoy a well-earned rest after a hard journey. Inspired by our endeavours in Exeter and with the support of the RSPB, we are introducing similar bird boxes to our Exmouth, Central Exeter and Portsmouth schemes, which will be suitable for a range of different species, including House Sparrows and Starlings, whose numbers are also in rapid decline.

Should these trials be successful, and given the size of our new hotel pipeline, the sky really could be the limit for Swifts and other bird species. It’s another example of how we are leading the hospitality industry to be more environmentally friendly.

All credit to Stephen Fitt of the RSPB and Edward Mayer of Swift Conservation who advised Premier Inn.