Winner of the Swift Tower competition announced!

Keo Baxendine

Wednesday 2 August 2017

A public vote to find a design for a new Swift Tower has chosen Jonathan Wheeler from Abingdon, Oxfordshire as the winner of the Swift Tower Competition. His winning design will be built by the University of Oxford in the University Parks, subject to approval and consultation. 

The competition was launched on 6 May to find a design for a new Swift Tower to be built in Oxford. A panel of judges selected a shortlist from the entries received, and the public were asked to cast their votes for the design they would most like to see built in the Oxford University Parks.

A Swift Tower is a free-standing structure, with lots of boxes for swifts to build their nests in. As traditional nesting sites in buildings are being lost, it is important to replace them and help stop the further decline of swifts. This competition is part of Oxford Swift City, a two-year project to improve the outlook for swifts in Oxford, made possible by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

In addition to the winner, designs submitted by Thurston Tallack and Judith Godsland, both from Oxford, were also included in the judges’ shortlist. There were also winners for the four categories – 12 and under, 13-17, adult (non-professional) and adult (professional) – the winners of which were Thurston Tallack, a joint submission by Charlie Bothwell, Louis George and Charlie Robinson from Sibford School in Banbury, Judith Godsland, and Kim Swallowe respectively. 

All entries to the competition will be on display at a public exhibition at The Gallery in the Oxford Town Hall from 13 November 2017 to 2 January 2018.

Lucy Hyde, Oxford Swift City Project Officer, said: “The judges would like to commend all the competition entrants for their creativity and innovation, which made selecting a shortlist a very challenging task. Jonathan Wheeler’s design is not only going to help Oxford’s swifts by providing lots of new nesting sites, but will also be an incredible piece of public art. We love that the design was chosen by the public, who have really embraced the Oxford Swift City project and everything we’re trying to do to help these incredible birds to thrive in our city.” 

Harriet Waters, Head of Environmental Sustainability, University of Oxford, said: “It will be wonderful to see a swift tower in the University Parks. With swifts nesting in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History tower and swift boxes being installed on University buildings, we are very keen to be involved with this great project to make Oxford a swift city.”

All of the organisations involved in this project would like to thank National Lottery players for their very generous support. Without it, this project would not be able to happen.

Last Updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018

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