Town centre swift and bat sign

A new piece of public art is coming to Woking, celebrating and supporting some of the wonderful wildlife we enjoy locally. The elegant new sign will stand in Gloucester Square in Woking, between the theatre, the Civic Offices and just over the Basingstoke Canal from the WWF’s Living Planet Centre

The sign, designed by 51 Architecture, will incorporate nesting chambers for both swifts and bats in its upper section. The middle section will feature finger post style arms showing the way to Woking’s twinned towns, all atop a specially engraved, conical stone base.

View an illustration of the sign

Swifts are an incredible bird species but are sadly in sharp decline, as insect numbers fall and many buildings are no longer suitable for nesting. The UK has lost over half of our swifts over the past 20 years.

Our UK swifts migrate through Europe to spend their winter in Africa – an annual round trip of some 14,000 miles – before returning to breed here late spring for the summer. The sign’s stonework base design will beautifully illustrate this amazing journey, celebrating nature’s travels across the planet and through time.

View an illustration of the sign’s cone design

The nesting chambers in the new sign will add to those being provided elsewhere through the conservation efforts of local residents and ThamesWey in the Swifts in Woking project. 

Sharing the swifts’ amazing annual journey and giving wildlife a home in our town centre are other ways in which we are working to deliver Natural Woking, our biodiversity and green infrastructure strategy for Woking borough.

The foundation and hard landscaping for the sign were completed over the winter, since when the sign’s component parts have been in manufacture off-site. The sign will be completed this summer, followed by the surrounding planting which should be complete this autumn/winter.

(Image credits: 51 Architecture)

More information

Please note that bicycle stand spaces previously available in this location are being replaced with new stands elsewhere in Woking town centre.

Read our Natural Woking biodiversity and green infrastructure strategy and guidance

Find out how you can help monitor Swifts in Woking

Find out about other nature and sustainability initiatives in the borough

More about Woking town twinning

Contact us

For more information, email our green infrastructure team.