Saturday, 22 February 2020

Where and when to see swan upping

Where and when to see swan upping

THIS year’s swan upping, the annual census of the swan population on the River Thames, will take place next month.

David Barber, the Queen’s Swan Marker, will lead the boats from Sunbury lock on July 15 at 9am.

They will arrive at Hurley lock at about 10.30am on Wednesday, July 17 before passing through Hambleden lock at noon and arriving in Henley at about 1.15pm.

After lunch, they will continue to Marsh lock for about 3.30pm, Shiplake lock at 5pm and Sonning Bridge at 6pm.

The following day the boats will depart from Sonning at 9am before moving on to Caversham lock for 10.15am, Mapledurham lock at noon, Goring lock at 5pm and Mouslford at 6pm.

The Swan Upping finishes at Abingdon at about 5pm on Friday, July 19.

Mr Barber, who lives in Henley, is hopeful that the birds are faring well.

He said: “I am pleased that the breeding season has begun very well this year with a high level of nesting activity on the river.

“We are delighted that so many members of the public keep a watchful eye on the swans, although sadly there continues to be an increasing incidence of nests being destroyed and adult swans and their cygnets killed as a result of dog attacks.

“We again urge members of the public to keep their dogs on a lead and under control in the vicinity of nesting swans and other infant wildlife when walking along the riverbank or near lakes.”

He added: “There will be many schools visiting Swan Upping once again this year as we continue to encourage the education of children about swan welfare, the river, the traditional boats we use and the impact of human activity on our wildlife.”

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