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  1. ITV Report

‘Human swan’ lands in UK on trail of migrating birds

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Richard Pallot

A conservationist who has been using a paramotor to follow the migration of swans has landed in the UK.

Sasha Dench, a former free-diving champion, is in the closing stages of a 4,500-mile mission to fly with the birds as they head to Britain.

Using just a parachute wing and a small propeller engine, Ms Dench set off in the Russian Arctic tundra in September in the hope of discovering why the number of Bewick swans journeying back to the UK has halved.

She landed in Dover shortly after 12.30pm, having taken off from France at around 11am GMT – the first time a woman has crossed the channel by paramotor, according to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT).

Sasha Dench flying into Dover in her paramotor Credit: PA

Ms Dench said: "It went really well, we were predicted a bit of fog in the morning but we didn't have that and there were a few delays, but then once we'd taken off the conditions were lovely."

She added: "It's great to be the first woman to do anything, I'm not really sure why no woman has done it before except not many women fly paramotors.

"I feel now I have crossed so many countries and communities I want to do anything I can to encourage or champion women doing adventures."

Ms Dench will continue her journey for several more days until she reaches the WWT nature reserve at Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.