Council makes pledge to help save King’s Mill swans

SWAN'S LAKE -- one of the few surviving swans at King's Mill Reservoir.
SWAN'S LAKE -- one of the few surviving swans at King's Mill Reservoir.

Officers at Ashfield District Council have assured campaigners that they will do all they can to help save the swans at King’s Mill Reservoir in Sutton.

Only a handful of swans remain at the lake after a spate of deaths, caused by illegal poachers, unwitting fishermen and a suspected outbreak of botulism.

More than 83,000 people have signed an online petition urging the council to take action that includes installing CCTV cameras as a deterrent to poachers.

Now the Ashfield authority has issued a statement insisting it “takes this matter very seriously” and promising to step up patrols at the lake.

“We condemn any attacks on wildlife,” the statement said. “We recognise that swans play an important part in the reservour eco-system and are very popular with visitors.

“The council’s community protection team has increased patrols and is working closely with the Friends Of King’s Mill Reservoir organisation and the police. We will continue to work with all those committed to addressing this issue.”

The petition was triggered by animal-rights campaigner David Sommerville (46), of Pleasley, who fears that if botulism is confirmed, the reason could be lack of maintenance or neglect at the reservoir.

“Time is of the essence,” said Mr Sommerville. “Swans’ lives are at stake. This needs resolving.”