Swans at home at Ipswich Port

A FAMILY of swans has finally taken up residence in a purpose-built sanctuary at the Port of Ipswich.Three years after staff at the port created the safe haven, a pair of nesting swans has now hatched a brood of six cygnets.

A FAMILY of swans has finally taken up residence in a purpose-built sanctuary at the Port of Ipswich.

Three years after staff at the port created the safe haven, a pair of nesting swans has now hatched a brood of six cygnets.

The sanctuary is just one of the many contributions Associated British Ports has made to local environmental enhancements and conservation.

Measuring 30m by 4m, the swans' nesting place was set aside to provide protection for wildfowl during their mating season.


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Previously, the swans nested along the banks of the River Orwell, within the port. Unfortunately, their breeding ground ran parallel to a public footpath and vandals frequently smashed their eggs and destroyed their nests.

Capt John Swift, harbour master for the Port of Ipswich, was one of the creators of the sanctuary and has spent the past three years patiently trying to entice the birds to the site.

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"Although we created this safe haven three years ago, it has taken until now to establish the trust of the swans," he said.

"It took a lot of enticements in the form of food and water to persuade them to move to this safe breeding ground, but they are now comfortable with the site and have hatched a brood of cygnets.

"We are delighted with this and hope the site will become home to swans for many generations to come."

As a member of the Stour and Orwell Estuaries Management Group, Associated British Ports works in conjunction with the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Unit to help protect the local environment. Simon Hooton, manager of the unit, said: "The creation of a sanctuary for nesting swans within this busy port shows that it is possible for commerce and nature to exist harmoniously side-by-side."

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