Exeter’s swift tower

You may recently have seen a new structure that has been erected on the roundabout at Paris Street next to the Vue cinema and wondered what it was. Well it is a Swift Tower! The project has been co-ordinated by Exeter City Council and Devon Wildlife Trust with advice from the RSPB and it has been funded by the developers of the nearby Jury’s Inn Hotel and adjacent  new houses. It cost £40k to build and install.

Swift box 3
It is rather a strange looking Tower but has been designed in Poland and it is hoped that it will act as a breeding tower for swifts which in recent years have undergone significant declines.

Swift box 2
The roundabout has been designed as a mini nature reserve


Swift box 1
You can see the individual swift nesting boxes in this picture – there is also a small speaker on the bottom which is powered by solar panels and in the spring when the swifts return plays swift calls to attract them to the Tower.

It was installed after the breeding season this year so we will have to wait until next year to see if the swifts like it! For details of other swift conservation projects and towers – see here.


9 thoughts on “Exeter’s swift tower

  1. Spending 40K to house swifts using one of the busiest junctions in Exeter..
    From this I take it that Exeter has a zero housing problem for its residents.

  2. Have walked past many times spring/summer 2016 & 2017. Have not noticed any activity in the 45 nesting boxes. Sited in the middle of a small roundabout in Exeter surrounded by heavy, polluting traffic and noise. Not a good idea!
    Let’s hope that something happens this spring 2018? Have we got their environment right?

  3. Since it’s surrounded by heavy traffic there could well be some “twitchers” amongst the passing drivers and their passengers! By having a public awareness campaign could we not get these people on board for future sightings if any? I’m sure there are also many “twitchers” amongst the passing pedestrians, adults and children like myself who would be pleased to help with sightings?

  4. £40,000 would have been better spent buying 800 woodcrete nest boxes. Has it attracted any pairs? One put up in N Ireland 9 years ago has failed to attract swifts

  5. From the photo’s I can’t comment on the suitability of the location for this tower. But that call attraction system looks like a problem to me. In my experience, if you’re attracting swifts to a new nest site, you need to project the calls as far as possible – up into the air, where the swifts are! That speaker set up under the boxes isn’t going to do that very well at all. If it’s not attracted any interest from Swifts yet, that’s probably a good sign that the call setup isn’t working and needs adjusting.

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