Swift nestboxes made of wood have the advantage that they are not expensive, something between 14-25 pounds. The disadvantage is that they don't last, subject as they are to the vagaries of our climate.
A durable box made of "woodcrete" is available if you are prepared to stump up about £57 or more (the Schwegler box).
So, we think we have come up with an ideal compromise: a durable box that costs no more than a wooden box. Click here for full details.
You start with offcuts of the pipe used for water mains. You cut these into 400mm lengths, cut an access hole in the side for the birds, put a plywood platform in the bottom of the pipe, plug the ends, paint appropriately, and there you are: a cheap but indestructible nest box for Swifts.
At least, we hope so. We have made twenty and are getting them erected in suitable locations to see how they fare, and how well the birds take to them.
If it works, we shall be heroes. If it doesn't, well, all we've lost is a few offcuts of pipe, a lot of elbow grease and our reputations. No big deal.
Acknowledgment: photo by Dick Newell