Swindon’s very own birdhouse has reopened after undergoing major refurbishments this year.

Work undertaken by South Swindon Parish Council estimated to have cost around £10,000 has seen the Town Gardens Aviary fully refurbished.

An early timber and metal aviary stood near the site since 1928 before it was replaced by the present one in 1994 but the latter had never undergone any renovations prior to this year.

Now the roof of the outhouse has been replaced, the interior redecorated and new birds have been added.

Swindon Advertiser: Parish Council chair Neil Hopkins cut the ribbon to reopen the aviary.Parish Council chair Neil Hopkins cut the ribbon to reopen the aviary. (Image: Newsquest)

South Swindon Parish Council chair Neil Hopkins was on hand to cut the opening ribbon on Monday morning.

“I’m absolutely delighted with it as it is better than I’d ever imagined it would look,” he said.

“Previously it was all black and looked tired so picking out certain features and adding the gold has brought it alive.”

After refurbishment plans were announced in April, it has taken over three months of refurbishment work to be completed after several unforeseen setbacks hit the team.

Swindon Advertiser: There are several varieties of birds in the refurbished aviary.There are several varieties of birds in the refurbished aviary. (Image: Newsquest)

“Originally we had a contractor but they pulled out on the day they were set to start work,” explained Neil.

“We have wonderful Parish staff who are very skilful sorting our repairs so in the end they took this on.

“They have beavered away all summer, getting this up to scratch.”

There are roughly 100 birds in the aviary with breeds including foreign finches, budgies, canaries and more.

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Swindon Advertiser: Neil Hopkins and Andy Hedges helped refurbish the aviary.Neil Hopkins and Andy Hedges helped refurbish the aviary. (Image: Newsquest)

Head gardener Andy Hedges owns some birds himself and is the resident expert on them, overseeing their reintegration into the modernised aviary.

“It is a relief to have it back open and it really fits well in with the setting now,” he said.

“We originally started in May and has taken until now but there was a lot of fabrication work to do with the wire and welding.”

“I keep birds at home and we have had a lot of support from Paradise Pets who have given us some birds at a discount and gave us advice on how to care for them.”

Swindon Advertiser: The South Swindon Parish Council team.The South Swindon Parish Council team. (Image: Newsquest)

The aviary represents a key feature of the town according to the parish council who view it as an important attraction for residents.

“You find yourself in two minds about it as we wouldn’t usually put an aviary in these days but it is here and the birds are here,” said Neil.

“It is important as young children and families make a beeline to the birds when they see the bright colours which fascinate them.”