Wildlife Volunteers Remove Swans from ‘Polluted’ Wandsworth Pond

Council deny that water in King George’s Park unfit for habitation

Two swans and six cygnets have been taken from King George’s Park in Wandsworth by wildlife volunteers who claim that the pond is not fit for them to live in. The birds were taken to The Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton this Saturday (16 June) with their rescuers saying the relocation was necessary due to the water being polluted and the low water levels.

Ann Aitken-Davis who took the swans to the sanctuary has said that one swan had already been found dead and another was seriously injured trying to get out of the water. She says she has previously raised concerns about water quality with the council.

A notice placed at the site said that it had become necessary to remove the swans due to the ‘awful condition of the pond water’ which has caused the cygnets to lose their natural waterproofing and resulted in a high risk of drowning. The notices goes onto say that the pump in the pond is not working and that a number of birds have died already including ducks therefore removal of the swans was required.

The Council say that the water has recently been tested by the Environment Agency who had no concerns about pollution and that their own officers have recently carried out water quality test. They added that the low water levels have resulted from the prolonged dry spell and warm weather which has resulted in the water becoming deoxygenated.

A Wandsworth council spokesman said, “We became aware on Monday morning that a swan rescuer had removed the swans from the lake without informing us and posted notices in the park saying they had done this because they were concerned about the quality of the water in the lake.

“Since then officials from the Government’s Environment Agency have visited the lake and say they have no such concerns. In addition we carried out our own routine water quality test three weeks ago and the results also came back clear.

“Obviously if there was any kind of problem we would take immediate steps to put it right. We will continue to monitor water quality here and will be contacting the rescuer to arrange a suitable time for the return of the swans.”

June 20, 2018