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.

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