A Suffolk pub has become the first in the UK to open an eight-metre tall tower providing a home for an endangered bird species.

The beer garden at The Eel's Foot Inn in Eastbridge now boasts the swifts tower on a totem pole after the new structure was launched on Tuesday.

The pub's owner, brewery Adnams, was approached by Steve Piotrowski, president of Waveney Bird Club, with the idea of the tower to try and address declining numbers of swifts.

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The brewery's hospitality director Nick Attfield said: "Waveney Bird Club approached Adnams over a year ago with the idea of a swift tower - the only one of its kind in the UK. 

"We thought it was a wonderful project to support and a unique addition to The Eel’s Foot at Eastbridge, given it is perfectly located next to RSPB Minsmere.

East Anglian Daily Times: The swift tower stands eight metres tallThe swift tower stands eight metres tall (Image: Charlotte Bond)"Adnams is truly proud to have supported the club with their ambition and we were delighted to see so many people attend for today’s official launch."

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According to the RSPB, declining numbers are partly down to a loss of nesting sites.

Swifts pair for life, returning to the same site each year to nest and lay and incubate their eggs.

The location was chosen due to its proximity to Minsmere and its semi-urban environment, while species nest in buildings and there are swifts already present in the village.

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It was a major project that took 18 months overall, involving purchasing a Douglas Fir pole and arranging for its carving, attaching a nesting chamber and then sinking it into the ground.

The nesting chamber provides space for 47 pairs and inside there is a speaker  that plays the sound of their screaming call to attract birds to the tower.

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