Ask the Swan Specialist

Rights to protect cygnets
Date: 3 November 2013

We live in England and have a pair of Swans now living on a nearby lake. the lake is owned by the residents of the area who have formed a limited company/ conservation society to protect all the wildfowl and wildlife which live on and around the lake. Whilst we own the land, the actual water is owned by British Waterways. At one end of the lake (which is approximately 18 acres in size including the surrounding shore) there are sluice gates where the water flows down to feed other pools and reservoirs. Unfortunately some of the cygnets have been swept down and perished. (this is the first year that the swans have raised babies) To protect the remaining ones, we have placed a netting across the opening ( a few inches above the waterline) and the 2 remaining youngsters are doing well. British Waterways, however, are insisting that we remove the netting as they claim it will lead to a water blockage with leaves and other debris. Although this is not happening and with the gap between the bottom of the net and the water level allowing the water to flow freely plus the fact that we monitor the state of affairs constantly, they are now threatening legal action if we do not remove the netting immediately.
Can you tell us where we can go for help with this problem please. We are of course, hoping that the swans will stay and breed again next year; they are very happy and have become very tame as we feed and try to help them when they need it. Do they have a legal right to be protected in their chosen habitat?

Any information you can give us would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks,

Jenny Hardwick

Messages In This Thread

Rights to protect cygnets -- jenny -- 3 November 2013
Re: Rights to protect cygnets -- The Regal Swan -- 3 November 2013