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Punters at The Eels Foot, in Leiston, near Southwold, to be able to enjoy ‘swift’ pint from May





Punters at one Suffolk pub will soon be able to enjoy a ‘swift’ pint after the installation of a new wildlife structure.

A swift tower has been constructed at The Eel’s Foot in Leiston, near Southwold and RSPB Minsmere, and it is believed to be the only pub in the UK with one.

The eight-metre high construction, built from Douglas Fir, will house 47 nest boxes, allowing pubgoers to get a close up view of the much-loved birds.

The Eels Foot, in Leiston, near Southwold, will have a swift tower installed in its garden in May. Picture: Google Maps
The Eels Foot, in Leiston, near Southwold, will have a swift tower installed in its garden in May. Picture: Google Maps

The idea to build and site the tower at the Eel’s Foot came from Waveney Bird Club president Steve Piotrowski, with Eastbridge pub is well used by nature lovers including the presenters and crew from BBC’s Springwatch when they broadcast the popular series from Minsmere.

Steve said: “Swifts are an integral feature of a British summer. Their arrival signals summer is on the way while their agility in the air has inspired poets over the centuries.

“They are also very sociable so will not mind nesting in a beer garden full of people. In return, pubgoers will be able to enjoy the sound and spectacle as they enjoy a pint.”

The eight-metre high construction is made out of Douglas Fir, and in an ideal location with The Eels Foot's proximity to RSPB Minsmere. Picture: Waveney Bird Club
The eight-metre high construction is made out of Douglas Fir, and in an ideal location with The Eels Foot's proximity to RSPB Minsmere. Picture: Waveney Bird Club

Funding for the project has come from nature groups, companies, private individuals and grants from the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape, East Suffolk Council and Steve’s Waveney Bird Club.

The tower will officially open in the first week of May, around the time swifts arrive in Britain after their long-distance migration from Africa.

Swift numbers in the UK have declined in recent years, with an estimated fall of 60 per cent since 1995 according to Breeding Bird Survey data.

The tower, which is believed to be the only one that will be housed in a pub, has 47 nest boxes. Picture: Waveney Bird Club
The tower, which is believed to be the only one that will be housed in a pub, has 47 nest boxes. Picture: Waveney Bird Club

It is thought to be a caused by a combination of changing summer weather leading to a decline in their insect food and the continued loss of suitable nesting sites.

A speaker will play swift calls to encourage the birds to nest in the tower while the project has been supported by the pub’s owners, Southwold-based Adnams