People urged to stay away from swans in Wiltshire after paddle-boarder ends up in river

04-05-21 Paddl boarder falls into a river after Swan encounter- Alan Benson
The swan is believed to have reacted to protect its nest. Credit: Alan Benson

People are being urged to stay away from wildlife while doing water sports after a swan reacted to a man near its nest.

A family of swans have built a large nest in the Town Bridge area of Bradford-on-Avon.

But there are growing concerns over the number of instances where people have approached the bird.

People are now being urged to stay clear of the family of swans after the male swan, which is known to be aggressive, reacted to a paddle-boarder at the weekend.

The incident happened close to the swans' nest in Bradford-on-Avon. Credit: Alan Benson

Bradford-on-Avon Town Council says it is planning to install wildlife cameras which will help keep an eye on the birds 24 hours a day.

People are being asked to keep up to date with the nest's progress via the council's website and social media pages, which will be posting updates.

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is illegal to kill, harm or disturb swans, their nests and eggs in any way.

In a statement, The Royal Society of Protection of Birds (RSPB) said: "At this time of year, we are at the height of breeding season, and so it is important to watch out for nests, young birds (chicks), and their protective parents.

The RSPB is asking that those that use the waterways to watch out for the birds and to leave them alone. Credit: Alan Benson

"Watching for nesting bird signage, keeping dogs on leads and backing away if you hear any parents alarm calling can help give these birds space to breed as we head back to the countryside.

 "If you're keen to get back to watersports at this time of year, please watch out for warning signage around the water’s edge, make sure you give sensitive breeding colonies a wide berth and back away if you hear alarm calls.

"After nature has given us such solace this past year, now is a vital time for us to give wildlife the space it needs to thrive. "

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