A particularly aggressive swan has been evicted to a quarry site owned by Lafarge Aggregates.
The swan, which repeatedly attacked canoeists and walkers along the River Chelmer, was captured along with his mate and six cygnets were captured and driven an hour away to a lake at the isolated Gallows Hill quarry in Suffolk.
His departure is a huge relief to locals in Chelmsford, especially members of the town’s canoe club who had begun to suffer almost daily attacks.
Aware that swans are a protected species, and in most cases, regarded as the sovereign’s property, club members sought the advice of the Queen’s Swan Master. He suggested relocation as a solution to enable the swans to lead a more peaceful existence.
Deborah Wilkes, secretary at the club had what she describes as “a lightbulb moment”, having attended an open day at a Lafarge quarry. “I knew they had large holes in the ground filled with water in isolated areas which is just what the swans needed.”
Stuart Anderson, Lafarge senior planning and estates manager said that the lake at Gallows Hill was chosen because it is quite isolated and some distance away, meaning the swans would be unlikely to return to Chelmsford.
A team of six canoeists created a barrier across the river while four others gently guided the bird family towards the bank where they were secured and transported to Gallows Hill.