The Swan Uppers were welcomed back to Marlow on Tuesday 20th July for the annual census of the swan population on the River Thames. Last year’s event was cancelled due to Covid.
Mayor Richard Scott and Mayoress Linda Scott followed the Swan Uppers on the boat Alaska, together with the Lord Lieutenant, Countess Howe. A drinks reception for the group was hosted by the Mayor on The Lawn at the Compleat Angler.
On Wednesday morning the Mayor attended an information session where the Swan Master explained the history and process of Swan Upping to local schoolchildren.
HM Swan Marker David Barber said, “Members of the public have been extremely observant during the Covid-19 lockdown and have reported many injured swans. This has enabled the swans to be rescued and treated promptly, avoiding unnecessary suffering.”
“This year, the breeding season has been successful in terms of cygnet numbers and there has been a decrease in the number of dog attacks on swan nests reported. However, we have been disappointed to see a vast increase in the incidence of pollution in the river over the same period. Engine and diesel oil deposited in the water along with other debris and pollutants cause serious problems for swans and other water-borne wildlife. These situations are entirely avoidable and have a devastating impact upon both the wildlife and the environment.”
Mayor Richard Scott said “I was delighted to join the Royal Swan Master, David Barber, and the teams from the Dyers and Vintners Companies for this year’s Swan Upping event. Due to Covid, the Swan Upping did not take place last year, so to be back on the Thames watching the ‘Swan Uppers’ carry out their important task of checking on the swans and ringing the new cygnets was very enjoyable.”
In a change to the usual arrangements, the 100-year-old steamboat ‘Alaska’ was used for guests to get a really close up view of the action.
Many thanks to Sue Ferber for sharing these photos with us. (Sue is the sister of Swan Marker David Barber 🙂 )