How Brian’s walk rescued this swan’s lake

Swan rescue
The RSPCA help rescue a swan who got stuck in fencing in Charvil Country Park Picture: Brian Hicks

HE MAY not be Superman, but he came to the rescue anyway.

Brian Hicks, a local walker and swan fanatic, was busy saving an injured swan earlier this month with a helping hand from the RSPCA.

“Recently, I went to feed the swans at Charvil Country Park as the cold conditions have made it hard for them over the Christmas and New Year period,” Brian said.

“On the way to the lake, I happened upon a solitary swan in a field nearby, penned in by a fence of barbed wire.”

With blood on its beak and feathers, he said the bird was in distress so decided to reach out to the RSPCA for advice, who came down to help.

“I was told that swans can get very aggressive towards other swans and even kill them, so I was relieved when the volunteer expertly ducked under the barbed wire and hooked the swan out,” Brian said.

RSPCA Deputy Chief Inspector Mel Fisher, who rescued the swan for the charity before taking the bird to safety, said: “It’s always a privilege to be able to help struggling wildlife.

“The swan looked like he had been bullied by a breeding pair and crashed into a fenced off marshy area.

“Apart from some scrapes on the beak and being exhausted after being bullied, he wasn’t in too bad a shape.”

She added: “I was able to take him to Swan Support, a specialist rescue centre which treats and cares for sick and injured swans, who will let the swan recover before releasing into one of their ‘singles’ sites.”

“I have no doubt it will make some new friends there,” Brian added.

Swans enjoying life in Charvil Country Park Picture: Brian Hicks

However, this is not the first time he has found himself assisting the swans of Charvil Country Park.

“I go to the park every week to see a family of swans on one of the main lakes there,” Brian explained.

“I’ve dubbed it Swan Lake. It’s a delightful place to explore.”

He says that last year, the lake’s mother swan gave birth to seven cygnets. It’s now more than six months on and five remain.

He says he’s been making a special effort to look after them as the cold weather continues.

“The mother chases off any other birds that may want to come and receive food from walkers,” he said.

Now, Brian hopes to inspire more people to get out there and enjoy the beauty of swans, even if only from a distance.

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