Clean up pledge as cygnets battle to survive on litter strewn pond
- Credit: Chris Bishop
A council has pledged to clean up a pond after the first family of swans to take up residence on it for almost 20 years lost two of their young to litter.
Two adults and five cygnets moved on to the Long Pond, in King's Lynn last week.
One young bird has died after getting entangled in fishing line. Another is recovering at a wildlife hospital after swallowing a discarded hook.
The margins of the pond are strewn with litter. Swans graze the weeds among plastic bags, bottles and cans. Retired factory worker Steve Wright, who lives on nearby Loke Road, said: "I spend quite a lot of time picking up litter but I'm coming up to 74 and my wife's worried I'm going to end up in the pond.
"Several people have been onto the council about the pond. You'd think the environmental people at the council would come and give it a clean up."
Brian Long, West Norfolk council's cabinet member for corporate services, said: “We get frequent reports of dumped rubbish in the Long Pond. Apart from being the result of anti-social behaviour and a blight on the area, this dumped rubbish causes other problems as the ponds are part of the town’s critical drainage infrastructure.
“We are working with our contractor to get this area cleared again and in the meantime would urge anyone who sees someone dumping rubbish in the ponds to report it online at west-norfolk.gov.uk/flytipping with as much information as possible, including time, any vehicles or descriptions of people, and specific location.
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"Alternatively call 01553 616200 to report it. It is a matter we take very seriously and will take enforcement action wherever necessary and possible to deter people from fly-tipping and dumping other rubbish in this area.”
Mr Wright's wife Deborah said it was the first time a family of swans had been seen on the pond for 18 years.
Wildlife photographer Matty Jessop also saw the birds. He said: "I went down there for a walk at lunchtime and saw a swan on her nest and thought I'd go back and get some pictures.
"It was shocking how much rubbish was in there, bread bags, cans and there's a plastic bottle in the nest and chocolate wrappers."
Mr Jessop, 37, who works as a learning support worker, decided to go back and with a bin bag as well as his camera.
"I just thought I'd go back down there with a net and a bin bag and see what I could get," he said. "There was an old bike in there as well but I couldn't get it out."