Swan rescuer helps cygnet trapped in Heath pond fence

New family must watch out for pike

Friday, 13th May — By Dan Carrier

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Louisa Green wades in to the water

THE patter of tiny webbed feet has graced the Hampstead Heath ponds this week – as cygnets from this spring’s brood took their first, faltering strokes.

And drama has not been far behind.

On Friday, the first cygnet appeared followed by seven siblings over the weekend.

Swan expert Louisa Green, a researcher at the Royal Free Hospital who keeps a close eye on the Heath’s wildfowl, was called on to help one of the new offspring as it got into trouble.

She said: “By Monday, the parents had begun the ceremonious marching of their new family over to Hampstead No 2 pond. Even though the cygnets have only been here a matter of days, there has already been a bit of drama.

Cygnet photos supplied by Louisa Green

“On Tuesday afternoon one of the cygnets became trapped in fencing on Hampstead No 2 pond. I managed to wade out to the family, free the cygnet and return him to his grateful parents. Shortly afterwards, the exhausted cygnet clambered on to Mum’s back and enjoyed a well-earned hitchhike.”

These early days see the cygnets face a number of challenges – not least avoiding the pike, who stalk their prey from the reed bed.

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