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Record swan numbers recorded on the river in Stratford





Cyril Bennis feeding the swans on the Avon in Stratford-upon-Avon. Photo: Mark Williamson
Cyril Bennis feeding the swans on the Avon in Stratford-upon-Avon. Photo: Mark Williamson

A record number of swans are now living on the river in Stratford, but work is still needed to protect them from dog attacks and other threats.

Former Stratford mayor Cyril Bennis has been caring for swans in Stratford for many years and is a first point of call for those who find the birds injured or in distress.

Cyril has been conducting a yearly swan count from the caravan park on Warwick Road to Lucy’s Mill since 1981 and this year recorded 150 birds, a forty year high.

While the swans are wild and can come and go as they please, the increased numbers indicate overall that the river at Stratford is a good environment for the birds.

Despite the good news, there have been recent incidents of dog attacks on swans, while others have been injured by fishing lines or suffered from lead poisoning in the past.

Cyril said: “We’re delighted with the record numbers in the flock, but we’re only too aware of the constant threat to the swans from dog attacks, lead poisoning and angling. I would just ask dog owners and anglers to act responsibly down on the river.

“I think the lockdown period has definitely seen more people observing nature on the river and taking an interest in the wildlife down there, which has been great to see.”



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