Swift boxes installed at Writtle University College

Writtle University College has installed six new Swift nest boxes on a building to encourage the threatened birds to breed.

The Swift boxes – which are elongated in shape with an oval hole - have been installed on one of the University College’s office buildings.

WUC’s Property staff used a cherry picker to install the boxes high up on the office building, which was chosen as it has quite an open situation and gives the birds a ‘runway’ to come in on.

Inside one of the boxes is a loudspeaker which emits Swift noises at dawn and dusk during Spring and Summer to help attract the birds in.

Swift Conservation provided the boxes and the technical know-how, while Essex Birdwatching Society funded their purchase.

Global Ecosystem Management Lecturer Alan Roscoe said: “Modern housing is not always very friendly to Swifts so anything we can do to improve their chances has to be good news. They are beautiful birds, with their scythe-like wings, screaming call – which many feel is the sound of summer - and their ability to sleep on the wing. Hopefully, students on our Global Ecosystem Management courses will be able to see the species successfully breed here in the Spring.”

For more information about our Global Ecosystem Management courses, please visit: http://writtle.ac.uk/UG-Global-Ecosystem-Management


Members of Writtle University College, Essex Birdwatching Society and Swift Conservation below the newly-installed boxes.

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