Thursday 26 May 2016

New Swift nest sites in the Alcázar of Segovia

When we met Javier Saez Frayssinet in Szczecin, we discussed an idea of how to transform irregular holes in walls into entrances suitable for Swifts. We, AfS, had developed a method suitable for casting entrances in situ. The result of this conversation is most gratifying, with 60 new nest sites, so far, being incorporated in the walls of the castle, it may well end up with over 100 new nest sites.

The Alcázar of Segovia. Photo Wikipedia
The Alcázar of Segovia is spectacular (see Wikipedia), and a wonderful setting for a Swift colony. There were many holes in the walls with the potential for turning them into Swift nest sites. Javier took our idea and used it innovatively to fashion attractive entrances in the walls of the castle.  

The method uses a 'former', an object the same size and shape as a Swift entrance.

2 formers
Inside each entrance is a space at least 15cm x 30cm.

The idea is a development of the Cambridge System, but instead of pre-casting entrance pieces, entrances are created in situ in the wall using the formers.

In this project, pieces of terracotta have been used, allowing the formers to be redeployed before the mortar has fully set.

The pictures below show the results.

An entrance fashioned out of terracotta, with former still in place
A finished entrance

An entrance cast around the former
Some of the new entrances in the wall on the right


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