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Royal Swan Upping set to return on Monday

Harry Cottle

Harry Cottle

The Royal Swan Upping – the annual census of the swan population on the River Thames – will start on Monday.

It will run until Friday, starting at Sunbury-on-Thames and finishing at Abingdon Bridge in Oxfordshire.

The swan upping boats will be in the area on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Tuesday they will depart from Eton Bridge at 8.45am, stopping at Boveney Lock at 9.45am, Boulters Lock at 1pm, Cookham Bridge at 2pm and finishing at Marlow Lock at 5.30pm.

The boats will depart the following morning at 9am from Marlow Bridge, continuing to journey upstream along the Thames through Hurley, Hambleden and Henley before finishing at Sonning Bridge at 6pm.

Swan upping dates from the 12th century when the Crown claimed ownership of all mute swans. Today it retains the right to those in open water.

Many primary schools are getting involved according to swan marker David Barber, who said: “We believe that teaching young children to respect and nurture the wildlife that surrounds them provides a solid foundation for the future conservation and protection of mute swans and other creatures that live on or near our rivers. ”

Schools can email info@royalswan.co.uk to get involved.

For more details visit www.royalswan.co.uk

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