With so many ponds and lakes across Crawley there is nothing more regal than seeing plenty of swans majestically cruising back and forth, particularly if they are with their young.
For years people have gone, sometimes with family, to feed them and for years it has always been bread.
Recently though there have been a lot of stories talking about how bad bread is for them and how people should avoid it as it can cause a whole list of troubles.
But now it seems all of that is actually wrong, and the fact that so many people heeded the words about banning feeding them bread has meant many are actually starving which in turn is making them take drastic action such as cross main roads to find food.
Now a statement from The Queen’s Swan Marker, David Barber MVO which has been endorsed by Professor Christopher Perrins of Oxford University has come out and confirms what The Swan Sanctuary has always said.
The statement reads:
“There has been a great deal of press coverage in recent months regarding the ‘Ban the Bread’ campaign which is confusing many members of the public who like to feed swans.
Supporters of the campaign claim that bread should not be fed to swans on the grounds that it is bad for them.
This is not correct.
Swans have been fed bread for many hundreds of years without causing any ill effects. While bread may not be the best dietary option for swans compared to their natural food such as river weed, it has become a very important source of energy for them, supplementing their natural diet and helping them to survive the cold winter months when vegetation is very scarce.
There is no good reason not to feed bread to swans, provided it is not mouldy. Most households have surplus bread and children have always enjoyed feeding swans with their parents.
The ‘Ban the Bread’ campaign is already having a deleterious impact upon the swan population; I am receiving reports of underweight cygnets and adult birds, and a number of swans from large flocks have begun to wander into roads in search of food.
This poses the further risk of swans being hit by vehicles. Malnutrition also increases their vulnerability to fatal diseases like avian-flu which has caused the deaths of many mute swans and other waterfowl in the past.
Furthermore, there have been statements made in the media claiming that feeding bread causes angel-wing in swans. Angel-wing is a condition where a cygnet develops a deformed wing.
Professor Christopher Perrins, LVO, FRS of the Department of Zoology at Oxford University stated, ‘There is no evidence of a connection between feeding bread and angel-wing; at least some cygnets develop this condition without ever having seen any bread’.
I therefore encourage members of the public to continue feeding swans to help improve their chances of survival, especially through the winter.”
The Swan Sanctuary has also published a couple of explanatory images that also establish what is right and wrong:
Celebrations for Crawley school now ranked in top ten
Smiles all round for the Crawley school for making it into the top 10 out of 283 schools.
Pupils, Parents & Carers, Governors and Staff were all celebrating at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Primary School this week, after it emerged the school, located in Langley Green, has been ranked 7th (out of 283 schools) in this year’s Key Stage 2 West Sussex School League Tables.
Chair of Governors, Maja Jasko, said:
“this is an amazing achievement and the result of the hard work, commitment and determination of the children, OLQOH staff, Parents & Carers and Governors, over many years. The OLQOH Governors would also like to congratulate our Key Stage 1 Pupils and Teaching Team, who also achieved fantastic outcomes in 2017/18, with 93% of children passing the ‘Phonics Check’, and combined outcomes in Year 2 exceeding the WSCC County Average.”
Deputy Head Teacher, Jan Miles, went on to comment:
“OLQOH recognises that academic outcomes represent just a fraction of the vital work that all primary schools are doing, preparing our children and young people for both secondary school and adult life. Nonetheless, these result build on the excellent SATs scores achieved at Our Lady’s over the past 5 years and reflect our school mantra ‘Better Never Stops!’.”