Campaigners look to councils for help to improve life for swans

Deborah Bowman and the Friends of Hebburn and Wardley Quarry, who are concerned about the local swan population.
Deborah Bowman and the Friends of Hebburn and Wardley Quarry, who are concerned about the local swan population.

A group which was set up to protect a family of swans living on a South Tyneside pond are aiming to help make their environment more appealing.

The Friends of Hebburn and Wardley Quarry was created in response to fears over the safety of the swans and cygnets which were making regular trips across the road in Mill Lane, Hebburn, on the hunt for food.

Hebburn swan campaigners Shirley Gardiner, left, and Deborah Bowman.

Hebburn swan campaigners Shirley Gardiner, left, and Deborah Bowman.

Now, after finding out who owns the land they are hoping to work with those responsible for the area to improve it for both the wildlife and residents.

They are also hoping to find a solution to make it harder for the swans to access the road which is causing a hazard to motorists.

The land ownership is split between Gateshead Council and South Tyneside Council.

A meeting with a representative from Gateshead Council’s environmental services has already been arranged.

The swans have been causing a hazard for motorists by crossing the road.

The swans have been causing a hazard for motorists by crossing the road.

South Tyneside Council says it will speak with their local authority counterparts to look at issues regarding the management of the site.

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “We were contacted by a member of this group on Tuesday afternoon.

“We will be speaking to our counterparts at Gateshead Council to see if there is a better way of managing this site.

“However, these are wild birds and our ability to contain them would be limited.”

Shirley Gardiner, one of the group members, said: “Things are really moving forward.

“After finding out who owns the land, we have made contact with Gateshead Council and have a meeting scheduled with the environmental services and ecologist.

“We wanting to look at what can be done to improve the environment for the swans and other wildlife, as well as make it a nicer place for people to visit.

“We are hoping to meet with similar people from South Tyneside Council, so we can work with them to look at how we can make the area safer for the swans.

“At the moment we are doing what we can to look after the swans, stopping traffic so they can cross the road safely, but it’s not something we can do all the time.

“We need to look at doing something to make it safer for the swans but also for motorists.”

Ideas the group are looking at include replenishing plant life, the installation of a gate, litter picks and a general tidy-up of the area.