Swan hurt in dog attack is reunited with family on Hampstead Heath

The Widow recovers from injuries

Tuesday, 4th August 2020 — By Richard Osley


The swan family is reunited [Louisa Green]

A SWAN attacked by a dog on Hampstead Heath has returned to the pond waters after recovering from her injuries.

It had been feared that The Widow, as she is known due to a long back story, would not pull through after being severely hurt last month. The swan has been at the centre of a magical story of romance on the Heath, first revealed in the New Journal earlier this year.

After losing her first partner several years ago, she flew away from the ponds but found herself hurt on the roof on a nearby house. While in a swan sanctuary, however, she sparked up an unexpected relationship with another injured patient, a male known as Wallace because he was found hurt near Waltham Abbey.


The success of their now inseparable relationship meant rescuers decided to take them back to the Heath, where they began a family earlier in the summer.

The Widow after the attack

The Widow, who was again treated at The Swan Sanctuary after the dog attack, was back on the waters today (Tuesday) and reunited with Wallace and her cygnets.

One of the rescuers Louisa Green, who has been charting the lives of the swans in a series of striking photographs and helping them when they are hurt  said: “She still has a small area of scabbing to her left wing but her feathers are beginning to grow back, and home is the best place for her to undergo this final stage of her recovery. There was a lovely reunion between her, Wallace and their seven cygnets, and the whole family were out on the pond together this morning.”

She added: “Wallace has done a brilliant job of raising the cygnets alone over the past three weeks – all are healthy, getting cheekier by the day and growing very well. We would like to sincerely thank the Hampstead Heath Rangers for putting up a fence to block off the area of the pond where she was attacked, and for also increasing the barrier of the dog swim and the amount of signage at and around Highgate No 1 pond.

“This happy ending would also not have been possible without Swan Support and their invaluable help during the rescue.”

The City of London, which manages the Heath, said:  “The dog swim area has since been reduced as a safety measure. Please keep dogs under control.”


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