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Mistley Swans

1 March 2010 - Parish Council Meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. if you love the Swans be there!

I don't know if you have looked up where we are on the map, but if you do so you will find that we are about 60 miles (100 km) north west from London on a huge estuary and it is very quiet here, with lots of mute swans, geese, ducks and black swans.

Anyway, once upon a time the second largest herd of swans lived on the estuary, note the word herd not flock, and even in the 1950's there were about 1000 swans living here. However, now with habitat destruction and pollution their numbers are down to about 250 and would be on their way down to zero - that is EXTINCT - without the efforts of a group of people called Swan Watch who are looking after them.

Now, Mistley with its excellent communications by road, sea, rail and even air, Stansted is not so far away, has attracted a large number of people who work in London and have little knowledge of rural matters and complain of such things as pigeon droppings on their windows, etc.

Some of these said people have decided that Swans and Mistley do not mix, in spite of the fact that the swans have been here for thousands of years, and have mounted a campaign to stop them being looked after, the only way they know. Which is to join the local council and try to pass by-laws and to put round a petition to gain support, which incidentally has more porkies than the average butchers shop.

So, battle lines are drawn, if you love swans let me know and I will put you on a mailing list to let you know what is happening, tell you about the web site, when it is ready, and maybe ask you to sign up to a counter petition.

Update 23 February 2010

Following the Anglia Television article last night there have been a huge number of hits on our site, so I think a bit of an update is required.

The swans are looked after by a local organization who are feeding them, but there is a problem with the amount of food they can buy compared with the amount of extra feeding that they require owing to the exceptionally harsh winter which we have experienced this year. The result of all of this is that the road by the estuary is now full of swans who are wandering further and further afield in a desperate search for food and as a result of this several swans have already been run down but worse by far is that in so doing the swans have placed themselves in the way of the local yob element with the result that eight swans have had their necks broken, obviously by being hit with sticks and one cygnet has been decapitated.

I have spoken recently about the situation with Sir Christopher Perrins Her Majesties Warden of Swans and he says that in order for this situation to be brought under control the swans need to be fed a great deal more and there also need to be several feeding stations for the swans along the front of the estuary between Mistley and Manningtree.

Her Majesties Warden of Swans also informed me that because the winter had been so harsh wildfowlers had stopped shooting in order to enable wildfowl stocks to recover.

Of course no one shoots swans, but they are wildfowl and suffer just as ducks and geese do from this terrible weather and do need the extra food.

If you are interested please mail me on

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