Concern for park’s new pair of swans in Bourne

The remaining male black swan at the Wellhead
The remaining male black swan at the Wellhead
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A new pair of swans will be arriving at the Wellhead Park after one of the existing pair was killed by a fox.

Remains of the female swan were discovered at the Bourne park last Wednesday morning.

The park’s groundsmen believe the swan was attacked during the night as she guarded her nest, which she had made on the bank rather than in the middle of St Peter’s Pool.

A spokesman for Bourne United Charities, which looks after the swans, said the charity was devastated to hear of the latest loss.

Clerk to the trustees, Gail Clingo, said: “The female usually nests on the middle of St Peter’s Pool but this time she had nested on the side and it seems most likely she was attacked by a fox overnight. The swan had been eaten which a dog wouldn’t do.”

She said the remaining male swan was now very lonely as they are animals which mate for life. Rather than keep him on his own, the charity’s trustees have ordered another mating pair of swans which will be arriving from Belgium in the next few weeks.

The existing male swan will then be re homed.

Anne Wright, of Essex Way, Bourne, has expressed concerns about the number of swans which have been killed at the park in recent years. She fears the practice of clipping their wings to stop them flying away is to blame.

Mrs Wright said: “If we take away their ability to protect themselves we, as a duty of care, should protect them ourselves and not leave them as easy prey for the next hungry fox or out of control dog. We don’t clip the wings of the ducks and they stay for the easy and plentiful food, so surely the swans will do the same?”

Mrs Clingo said the swans’ wings are already pinned when they arrive. She said: “People say they like to see the swans at the park, but if we want to keep them here, their wings have to be pinned.

“We are trying to improve the park and make more interesting for people to visit, but if the swans choose to nest in a silly place, it’s a problem.”

Although the latest attack is believed to have been carried out by a fox, the charity has also urged dog walkers to be vigilant and keep their pets on a lead.

Mrs Clingo added: “The vast majority of dog walkers are responsible but there will always be a few who are irresponsible.”