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Bad weather forces cancellation of 900 year old tradition for first time

Now it dates back to the 12th century, but the poor weather has meant this year's Swan Upping ceremony on the River Thames has been cancelled for the first time in 900 years.

It's been a tough year for the local swan population. A virus meant the loss of many of the birds last year. And it's feared this summer's flooding means nests have been washed away.

The annual census - was due to start at Sunbury Lock in Surrey on Monday. Continuing through Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire this week. Finishing at Abingdon Bridge on Friday.

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Swan Upping lessons go on

A cygnet is weighed by school children Credit: ITV Meridian

The annual Swan Upping on the River Thames may have been cancelled for the first time in its 900 year history, but school children are still benefiting from the census.

They have been taking part in a special swan count, to learn about the tradition and the river's wildlife.

The Queen's Swan Maker David Barber gave a talk at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley on Thames.

ITV Meridian's camera man Mick Hopley prepares for a close up on cygnets Credit: ITV Meridian