Parks Trust advice as swans begin nesting

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The Parks Trust is reminding people to look out for swans as their nesting season begins.

The birds are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly destroy any nests, eggs or nestlings.

The most common concern is nests being disturbed by dogs or people, particularly near Willen Lake.

“If you are aware of a nesting swan please make sure dogs are kept on a short lead as you approach and pass the nest,” said Martin Kincaid, Biodiversity officer with The Parks Trust.

“Dogs are naturally curious of other animals and the conflict between dogs and swans has to be avoided for the wellbeing of both.

“Please look out for temporary signs at some of our lakes, which will indicate when you are approaching a swan nest close to the footpath.”

“Occasionally, eggs may be destroyed by natural predators such as foxes or crows.

“Sad though this is, it is a natural process. Older, more experienced swans are more successful in raising broods than younger ones,” Martin added.

“Please do not attempt to move any birds under any circumstances.

“Please do not attempt to feed any nesting swans you may see or cygnets later in the year.

“Cygnets will happily graze on grass and aquatic weeds and should not be fed bread or any foodstuff by people.”

For more information contact The Parks Trust on 01908 233600.