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Dramatic drop in numbers for Mistley swans

An Essex beauty spot is in danger of losing one of its main tourist attractions unless urgent action is taken to protect its resident swans.

Mistley, near Manningtree, was once home to about 300 of the birds but the numbers are decreasing rapidly.

The herd of swans has been reduced by 26 already this year, with 6 killed on the road and others taken away by the RSPCA due to poor health.

As well as the danger caused by traffic, local people say are also in search of volunteers to feed the birds.

For the past 20 years, that job has been carried out by one woman who has decided to retire.

Victoria Lampard reports.

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Man goes missing with 12-week-old son

Police have issued an urgent appeal for information about a man who has gone missing with his 12-week-old son.

Nathan Hamilton, 24, who uses the nickname Chase, was last seen at about 10.30am today in Mistley, near Manningtree in Essex.

He was carrying the baby boy.

Mr Hamilton is black, 5ft 10in tall, of slim build, has short Afro hair and sometimes wears glasses. He was wearing a grey Converse tracksuit.

The baby was dressed in a blue t-shirt, a grey cardigan, Chino-style baby trousers and bootees.

It is thought the father and son went to Mistley station and travelled by train to Colchester or London.

Police say they are growing increasingly concerned for their welfare and have urged anyone who has seen them to call 999 immediately.

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