November 2nd 2015
The view from the end of the island
October 23rd 2015
After cleaning one of the pens
October 22nd 2015
Vintners Work Party – what a terrific turnout
No Steve we are not calling it the general managers pen !
July 1st 2012 – The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Lunch
Swan Lifeline is supported by the two Livery Companies that still retain ownership of swans and participate in Swan Upping, The Worshipful Company of Vintners and the Worshipful Company of Dyers.
Kay Webb, Chairman of Swan Lifeline was thrilled to be invited by the Vintners to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee lunch in Westminster Hall on the Bank holiday Tuesday, 5 June. Even more so, when she was invited to be seated at the Queen’s table. Placed directly opposite Her Majesty, naturally the main TV footage showed Kay’s back!
25 June 2012 – Sir Michael Parkinson Guest Lunch Speaker
Swan Lifeline are pleased to announce details of a special lunch at the Macdonald Compleat Angler hotel, Marlow on Friday 26 October at which the guest speaker will be Sir Michael Parkinson.
Guests are welcome from 11.30am to enjoy a drink in the cocktail bar, which will be followed by a two-course set lunch served at 12.30pm including coffee and a glass of wine (vegetarian option available).
To book tickets, which are priced at £40 per person, call the Macdonald Compleat Angler on 0844 879 9128. Payment for the ticket will be taken at the time of booking and tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable unless they can be re-sold.
May 2012 – Visit to Cuckoo Weir Island by the Worshipful Company of Vintners
Some of the most enjoyable days at Cuckoo Weir are when the Livery companies visit us. The Swan Warden post is usually held for a year so we get to meet different people. In May we were delighted to welcome the current Vintner’s Swan Warden Rupert Clevely and his successor Patrick Sandeman.
23 June 2011 – Windsor & Maidenhead Voluntary Action
"Announces Hovis Employees to improve Facilities for Injured Swans"
Windsor & Maidenhead Voluntary Action (WMVA) are delighted to announce today that a team of employees from Premier Foods (Hovis) will be volunteering their time to help improve the facilities for sick and injured swans at Swan Lifeline.
On Thursday 14th July, 30 employees from the company’s Windsor based office, will be clearing and maintaining pens, repainting fences and carrying out general ground maintenance on the site in Eton.
Eileen Denny, Community Action Co-ordinator at WMVA, said “We are delighted to be working with Premier Foods on this community effort. The swans are very much part of Windsor and our environment but at this time of year, as well as the injured birds, there are many sicknesses which can strike and Swan Lifeline is reliant upon volunteers for help. To do something so different as a team project is always fun for employees, but also worthwhile, so it’s excellent for company morale too.”
Jeremy Shea, one of the volunteers from Premier Foods commented “It will be good to give something back to the local community especially in this current economic climate and I know Swan Lifeline are very appreciative of us volunteering to help out. We are also looking forward to working as a team and have lots of fun.”
Swan Lifeline added “We are delighted to have the support of the local businesses and the community. The day to day rescue and care of the swans leaves little time to do many of the maintenance jobs so necessary to look after the site.”
For information on employee volunteering contact Fiona or Eileen on 01753 622433 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
22 April 2010 - Oracle earth Day
To mark Earth Day on 22nd April, Swan Lifeline was delighted to welcome Oracle UK to Cuckoo Weir Island. Oracle UK HQ is at Thames Valley Park in Reading and the company has supported the charity for many years.
Organised by Cliff Hilton for Oracle with Iain Oldcorn & Wendy Hermon from Swan Lifeline the logistics of the day noted by Cliff were :-
32 Oracle volunteers; 2 coaches; 1 traffic jam (M4);
1 bridge repainted; 1 main building repainted;
4 outbuildings repainted; 1 boat refurbished;
2 small fences repainted; 1 perimeter fence repainted;
2 seats repainted; 3 swan pens hosed out;
125 litres paint applied; 40 protective suits worn;
300 pairs latex gloves worn; 80 paint brushes used;
1 tea urn drunk; 2 portaloos used;
100 swans viewed; 1 "Buster" (resident flightless swan) avoided;
1 "Rodney" vocally engaged (Wendy’s pet goose).
"On our part we were delighted to meet such a great group from Oracle UK. The amount of work completed during the day was fantastic. So much painting and cleaning was done it really gave us a great ‘Spring Clean’ – luckily despite their willingness to tackle all jobs the swans did not get painted and were left in peace! I personally regret that I was not able to remain until close of play and thank all concerned for their interest and hard work with good humour." Kay Webb
August 2009 - Christmas Card
The Swan Lifeline 2009 Christmas Card is now available from Kay at £4 for 10 (postage extra).
July 2009 - Swan Upping
On 22 July over 90 Swan Lifeline Supporters boarded The New Orleans at Hobbs boatyard, Henley for a cruise to follow the progress of Swan Upping from Hambleden Lock along the regatta course back to Henley with a commentary by Wendy. The trip continued through Marsh Lock and towards Shiplake before returning to Henley; a buffet lunch was provided and some supporters found time to sample the on-board bar.
On July 20th, Her Majesty made her first ever visit to Swan Upping and at Oakley Court Hotel, accompanied by David Barber her Swan Warden, watched with interest as a family was caught, checked.
1-5 July 2009 - Henley Regatta
As usual, Swan Lifeline removed to CWI all swans and geese from the regatta course prior to the event and maintained patrols to keep the course clear during the week's event.
29 June 2009
This year the RSPCA awarded Swan Lifeline their prestigious Elsie MJ Evans award for Swan Lifelines services to the RSPCA with swan rescues.
At the end of June, representatives of Pets At Home, Slough visited CWI to present Kay with a substantial grant in support of our work (photo courtesy of Slough Observer).
Kay with Pets At Home Staff at Cuckoo Weir Island
Charlie & Zoe
Filming for Animal 24/7 at the St Katherines Dock Tower of London
18 July 2008
As always, we assisted at this year’s Swan Upping on the Thames, which ended today. The event was reported on local TV.
7 July 2008
As usual, several swans, including four families, were admitted to care on 23 June for the duration of Henley Regatta. During the Regatta we assisted the course officials by running the goose patrol, removing any swans that suddenly realised 'the coast was clear'.
Further back ...
2 September 2007
Today was our annual Open Day. Among the first to arrive at CWI were the Mayor & Mayoress of Windsor, Cllr Leo Walters and Mrs Walters, and the Deputy Mayor of Slough Mohammed Aziz. Later that day we were delighted to welcome sports Commentator Steve Rider and his family.
We were equally delighted to welcome Mr Robin Hope, who arrived at CWI in his 1904 double-skiff Tara. During the rather wet month of June, together with friends and former colleagues he had undertaken a sponsored row from Cookham to Abingdon and back. In so doing, he raised more than £6000 in sponsorship, the proceeds being shared between Swan Lifeline and the Swan Sanctuary.
As always, French Brothers ran their Explorer boats from the Windsor promenade to give visitors an alternative means of transport.
Robin Hope on the sponsored row
Robin Hope in front of his skiff, presenting a cheque to Kay Webb
30 April 2007
Fairy is helping swans return to their natural white state.
A species of bacteria, has been identified as the main cause of Pink Feather Flamingo Syndrome, the technical name for the change of colour to pink. In its advanced stages, it can lead to the feathers rotting, losing their waterproofing, and causes the death of the weakest swans affected.
On the basis that so-called surfactants can help remove bacteria from objects, researchers successfully removed the microbes using Fairy Liquid. For more than 25 years Fairy has been used worldwide by rescue groups and NGOs to remove oil from penguins, sea birds and other wildlife during environmental disasters.
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22 May 2006
Further to our report (6 April) of the hazardous power cable. We appealed to the cable owners to apply some high-visibility discs, so that swans would see and avoid them. The discs soon arrived, so we hope that the problem is solved. The crops are now too high for swans to land, but we should see the benefit after harvest and into next spring.
Many thanks to Southern Electricity for such prompt action.
6 May 2006
The TV series Ultimate Force features fictional adventures of the SAS. Today's episode, though supposedly in Latin America, features some action in inflatable craft. These shots were in fact filmed last summer in the 'rainforests' of East Cuckoo Weir Island. Take a look to see if any swans have sneaked past the editor ... you may even recognise someone in one of the boats — for example the guy in the yellow t-shirt and red shorts in the green boat laden with fruit.
30 April 2006
Would that the angling close season were still mandatory. Birds have been tackled with very large lures, which have treble hooks at front and rear. One breeding cob at Harefield Marina had four of the six hooks in one foot. Whilst capturing the bird, a fifth finding its way into the trouser seam of the rescuer, fortunately not going any further. We returned the swan to its water the same day, after treating the wounds and giving antibiotics at CWI. The lure was hinged, in two pieces, and about four inches long by three across.
An even bigger imitation fish lure, about nine inches long excluding massive treble hooks, was recently removed from another swan in the marina by Reading. This damaged the bill, near the nostrils, caused a wound in the right wing, and damaged the right web: the swan had to be admitted.
The sad fact is that in neither case had the tackle been discarded, and then later snagged by the swan. The nature of the lures, and the injuries point to the birds being snagged by an angler who in each case simply walked quietly away, leaving the swans in such a state. Both stretches of water are publicly fished, i.e. not subject to the welfare rules of angling clubs.
29 April 2006
A small unexploded WW-2 bomb was unearthed today during work in the field adjacent to Cuckoo Weir. Very quickly loads of police were securing the access and closing the Windsor Relief Road so that an army bomb-disposal unit could deal with the bomb. It was deemed too unstable to be moved, so was detonated in the field, some 250 yards away from our own CWI buildings — which shook. Fortunately all was achieved safely and without damage, and we were able to continue work. The birds were not bothered by the short sharp bang. Life is never dull here.
6 April 2006
Nesting time is here. A pair is trying to nest on our island, but things have not been going well. The swans have tried two sites, and laid eggs in both, but the sites are also attractive to foxes, which so far have made off with all the eggs. We hope the swans will choose more carefully next year: it would be good to have our own cygnets raised at CWI.
In one week recently, two swans were killed and two others seriously injured in the same field at Brimpton, near the Kennet and Avon Canal. A flock had been attracted to some newly-sprouted corn; 30-40 swans were landing there each morning. Unfortunately there is an electricity cable about 15 feet high in the birds' landing path, but invisible to them. One swan was killed instantly, another had to be put to sleep, and a third one suffered severe burns to head and neck. There has been a two-week respite from calls about accidents in this field, so we hope that by now the swans have found other other food sources.
9 March 2006
We have been closely monitoring the Avian Flu situation in Europe. The Wetlands and Wildfowl Trust (WWT) has released some useful information related to this.