Young swan rescued after getting trapped in discarded fishing line at nature reserve

The cygnet being rescued
The cygnet being rescued

A young cygnet is lucky to be alive after becoming trapped in fishing line at a lake in South Tyneside.

Rescuers from Blyth Wildlife Rescue were called out after the alarm was raised at Hebburn Nature Reserve in Mill Lane on Friday.

Swans at Hebburn Nature Reserve. Picture by FRANK REID

Swans at Hebburn Nature Reserve. Picture by FRANK REID

It is understood the swan had been trapped for several hours before it was spotted in distress.

Related: Hunt to find swan’s killer after bird is found dead at a nature reserve in Hebburn



Founder of the wildlife charity John Anderson, went out on a boat to cut the young bird free before bringing it back to land to remove the tackle, which had become embedded in its legs.
Luckily, the young swan had suffered only superficial wounds. After a rest, the bird was reunited with the female swan back on the water.
Mr Anderson then took a trip out to the island, where he attempted clear as much of the line as possible – including two hooks and two weights.
Mr Anderson said: “It’s not the first time we have been called out to rescue a bird that has become trapped in fishing line.
“It doesn’t just happen here, but in other areas where fishing is allowed or in some cases not allowed.
“The young bird was anchored to the ground. If it had been left, it would have died.
“It couldn’t move, wouldn’t have been protected by its mother, find food or hydrate itself.
“It is a good job there are people who are looking out for them. The line had left a deep impression but it was superficial.”
Mr Anderson added: “I really don’t know what the answer is. You can’t stop people from fishing, but it is a bit annoying when birds are getting tangled up in discarded fishing line and can suffer great harm over long periods.
“All we can do is ask people to be responsible and to try to collect in any discarded line, hooks and weights.”


Last month, an appeal was launched to find the killer of a male swan after it had been found dead at the nature reserve.

The bird had been shot with a single air rifle pellet to the abdomen and had died days later after the wound had become infected.

Police were notified, however, no one as yet has been caught.

The line had left a deep impression but it was superficial

John Anderson

Blyth Wildlife Rescue relies on donations to carry out its work which includes the rescue, rehabilitation and release of wild animals.

The charity can be contacted on 07910 643 122. Anyone who would like to donate visit www.b-w-r.org.uk.