Monday, 27 March 2017

A Swift tower at The Avenue Washlands

Back in 2011, we posted an idea for a Swift tower, based upon four 4-box cabinets, so 16 nest chambers. Since then, we have installed a fair number of 4-box cabinets, many of which have between 1 and 4 pairs of Swifts in them, but we never built the tower. Now, volunteers from the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust have extended the concept and executed an excellent example with 24 nesting chambers.

The Avenue Washlands is a Derbyshire Wildlife Trust wetland reserve consisting of reedbed, marsh, ponds and grassland in the valley of the River Rother, near Chesterfield. Along with the installation of pole-mounted Barn Owl boxes, they have now successfully installed a pole-mounted Swift Tower.

The project was funded and built by members of the Chesterfield & NE Derbyshire Local Group of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. For the installation they were helped by the reserve’s Sunday work party volunteers.

The body of the boxes is made of pressure-treated timber. The roof and backs are made from Tricoya which claims to have an exterior life of 50 years! The roof has a ridge made from guttering.

The pole was donated and erected by Western Power. It is the most impressive pole that we have seen in terms of its size and rigidity, and gives a sense of proportion to the whole structure.

A solar panel driven attraction call system will be installed ready for the 2017 season.

We thank Brian Goodwin and Nick Brown for sending us this story and the pictures.

The tower is assembled from 2 each of these components
A test assembly on the ground.
Assembly in progress by reserve volunteers
A great-looking end result

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