Royal Swan Upping returns to River Thames after one-year hiatus

The royal tradition of Swan Upping is returning to the River Thames next month following a one-year hiatus.

The annual census of the swan population on the Thames had to be cancelled last year due to social distancing restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

But it has now been announced a team of royal swan uppers will set off from Eton Bridge on Tuesday, July 20 for a three-day conservation exercise.

David Barber, The Queen’s Swan Marker, said: “Members of the public have been extremely observant during the COVID-19 lockdown and have reported many injured swans.

“This has enabled them to be rescued and treated promptly which has avoided unnecessary suffering.”

He added the breeding season has been successful in terms of cygnet numbers but warned there has been a ‘vast increase’ in pollution on the river which is causing serious problems for swans and other water borne wildlife.

Swan uppers will weigh and collect any cygnets they spot along the river and also teach schoolchildren about mute swans and the impact of pollution during this year’s event.

Observation points and times for this year’s Swan Upping are as follows:

Tuesday, July 20

Eton Bridge – 08.30 (departure point)

Boveney Lock – 09.15

Boulters Lock – 12.30

Cookham Bridge – 13.15

Marlow Lock – 17.30

Wednesday, July 21

Marlow Bridge – 09.00 (departure point)

Hurley Lock – 10.30

Hambleden Lock – 12.15

Henley Bridge – 13.00

Marsh Lock – 15.15

Shiplake Lock – 17.00

Sonning Bridge – 18.00

Thursday, July 22

Sonning Bridge – 08.45 (Departure point)

Caversham Lock – 10.15

Mapledurham Lock – 12.30

Goring Lock – 16.15

Moulsford – 17.15

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