Published 28 October 2015

Swan Upping 2015

Swan Upping, the annual census of the swan population on the River Thames, was announced today by David, Barber, The Queen’s Swan Marker.

This year’s Swan Upping will start on Monday 20th July departing from Sunbury, and ends at Abingdon, Oxfordshire on Friday 24th July.
Announcing the dates for Swan Upping, David Barber reported:

“The Thames’ swan population has fared well over the winter months. After a relatively mild winter with normal water levels, breeding pairs were able to nest successfully without the risks posed by high flood waters, as was the case in 2014. Natural predators such as foxes and mink pose a serious risk to young cygnets when they are very small and there has also been an increase in reported incidents of birds of prey taking small cygnets.

The most disappointing news affecting the Thames’s swans is the continuing increase in the number of swans and cygnets being shot with air guns. These senseless shootings cause horrific injuries and often death, with the injured swans and cygnets sometimes taking days or even weeks to die if they are not discovered soon after being shot. The majority of members of the public are very vigilant and have reported shot swans when they have discovered them, enabling the fortunate ones to be rescued and saved with veterinary intervention.

In view of these continuing deplorable incidents, education remains a significant aspect of Swan Upping. The participation of schools remains an important part of the week and several local schools are invited to meet the Swan Uppers on their journey up river. Young children are fascinated by the sight of young cygnets and are keen to learn about the ecology of the mute swan and the history of Swan Upping, as well as being intrigued by the Royal connection to swans.”

Local schools seeking further information about Swan Upping week should contact the Swan Marker’s office on 01628 523030 or email [email protected].

Download a copy of the Swan Upping educational booklet here.

The observation points and times are as follows (all times given are approximate):

Monday 20th July 2015
Sunbury 09.00 - Departure point
Shepperton Lock 10.45
Penton Hook Lock 12.30
Romney Lock 17.30

Tuesday 21st July 2015
Eton Bridge 08.45 - Departure point
Boveney Lock 09.45
Boulters Lock 13.00
Cookham Bridge 14.00
Marlow Lock 17.30

Wednesday 22nd July 2015
Marlow Bridge 09.00 - Departure point
Hurley Lock 10.30
Hambleden Lock 12.00
Henley Town 13.30
Marsh Lock 15.30
Shiplake Lock 17.00
Sonning Bridge 18.00

Thursday 23rd July 2015
Sonning-on-Thames 09.00 - Departure point
Caversham Lock 10.15
Mapledurham Lock 12.15
Goring Lock 17.00
Moulsford 18.00

Friday 24th July 2015
Moulsford 09.00 - Departure point
Benson Lock 10.15
Clifton Hampden Bridge 13.00
Culham Lock 16.15
Abingdon Bridge 17.00

Press Boat

The press boat will depart Shepperton Lock at 10.30 on Monday 20th July, Eton Bridge at 08.45 on Tuesday 21st July and Marlow Bridge at 09.00 on Wednesday 22nd July. Media wishing to reserve a place to board the press boat should contact the Swan Marker’s Office on +44 (0)1628 523030 or email [email protected].