Call to stop putting black swans at risk

One of the black swans at The Wellhead
One of the black swans at The Wellhead
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Residents in Bourne would rather have no black swans at The Wellhead park than risk them being savaged by foxes or dogs.

Linda Bates, 70, has now started a petition calling on the Bourne United Charities, which looks after the park, to stop buying more swans because, she fears, they will only be killed again.

Last month the Local reported that one of the existing pair of black swans had been killed. The groundsmen believe the female swan, which had nested on the side of St Peter’s pool rather than in the middle of it, had been attacked at night by a fox.

The charity has ordered two swans from Belgium to replace the pair and the solitary swan will be re-homed.

Mrs Bates, who has placed a petition in the town’s Tesco store, said: “I feel very strongly about it. The black swans are beautiful creatures but why have them in the first place if they are going to be killed? It must have been terrifying for them. How many more will have to be killed before the charity stops buying them?

“Most people I speak to in the town say they’d sooner not have them in the pond than risk them being killed. They have absolutely no protection from their predators because their wings are pinned.”

The charity says the swans wings are already pinned when they arrive to stop them flying away.

Mrs Bates, who is also planning to approach other shops in Bourne to place more petition forms, is urging residents to sign to stop more black swans being imported “only to be killed by dogs or foxes”.

The charity has urged dog owners to take more care and keep their dogs on leads.

Trevor Hollinshead, chairman of Bourne United Charities’ estate committee, pointed out that dogs were responsible for killing two of the five swans and they only suspect that the latest swan was killed by a fox.

He added: “We have already ordered the new swans and they are on their way.

“But we will look at the petition and see what we need to do.”