Pressure forces a U-turn over swans

One of the black swans at The Wellhead
One of the black swans at The Wellhead
Have your say

Park trustees have cancelled an order for black swans after residents said they didn’t want to see any more birds killed by animals.

The female of a pair of swans at The Wellhead, in Bourne, was savaged by a fox last month.

The bird was the fifth to be killed by dogs or foxes in recent years.

Bourne United Charities, which looks after the park, re-homed the male and ordered two new black swans from Belgium.

But residents feared the new swans would be sitting ducks as their wings are pinned to stop them flying away. As a result they would be easy prey for foxes and dogs.

Linda Bates, 70, of Wexford Close, Bourne, started a petition to stop more swans being put in the park’s St Peter’s pool, saying they would have a horrific death as they had no protection as they could not fly away.

And Bourne United Charities bowed in the face of public pressure.

Chairman of Bourne United Charities Trevor Hollinshead said the trustees had taken note of public opinion.

He added: “We have stopped the order for the swans.”

The matter was due to be discussed at the trustee’s meeting this week, but Mr Hollinshead added: “We will wait and find out what the people really want and will not be making any decision about what to do next until then.”

Mrs Bates, 70, who put up petition forms in shops around the town, said the charity had made a “sensible” decision.

“It was a horrible thought that more of them would have been killed,” said the former teaching assistant who worked in a secure unit for girls.

She added: “I’m so relieved. I know the Bourne United Charities work very hard and do a really good job in the park, so I don’t see it as a victory in any way. But I feel that they have made the right decision.”

More than 40 people had already signed one of the petitions urging the charity not to bring in any more swans.