We asked Brian if he would write a piece about how he went about the Swift Tower in Crumlin, telling us of the challenges and successes along the way - here it is:
|The Crumlin Tower is erected|
Only a short time elapsed when I was delighted to receive a letter from Sir Terence, who was sympathetic to my proposals.
Discussions began with Mr Lewis Carlish (Property Services Store Manager) who was extremely helpful from the start, and Mr Gerard Crosbie the store manager. A few concerns such as height of the tower and materials were quickly resolved and so the project began.
We decided on twenty boxes as this was a very new venture and we wanted to make it as unobtrusive as possible. It could easily have been designed to accommodate thirty or forty boxes by adding more layers. I agreed to design the tower, obtain estimates etc and present them to Mr Carlish. An important consideration was that the tower needed to be aesthetically pleasing to fit in with the store environment.
The roof is constructed of plywood covered in torched felt and painted with heat reflective paint; the underside is ventilated to enable air to pass through. The entrances are oval and are 30 mm high and 65 mm wide. We fixed a speaker in the roof to play swift attraction calls with the speaker cable threaded through the hollow column supporting the tower. The nesting boxes all have concave nest platforms and all are lined with feathers.
The finished tower was galvanised and bolted down to a cubic metre of concrete, Last Sunday (14th May) I observed two swifts flying close to it. It is hoped that swifts will eventually take up residence in all the twenty boxes.