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Oil and swans do not mix

17th December 2019 – Grand Union Canal, Alperton, Wembley

We received the call about swans with petrol on them on Tuesday morning and the caller then kindly send photos. It showed a flock of swans up on the towpath, covered in diesel trying desperately to get clean. We sent two teams out straight away and after initially having trouble finding a suitable access point to park the vehicles we were soon loading the contaminated birds. No one could tell us where the spill was coming from but we can only leave that side of things to the Environment Agency and the Canal and Rivers Trust. Sally went out in the canoe and recovered two more birds but the last member of the flock flew off and so we had to leave it. Our oil spill unit has had a lot of use since we opened it and the birds were soon getting cleaned up in fresh water. Fortunately the last remaining swan was picked up later by a team from Swan Support who went out looking for it later that evening. Once we know the contamination has been cleaned up the swans can go back to their home. If you ever see any swans in this state please report it straight away.

On the Towpath

On the Towpath

 

Ready For Transport

Ready For Transport

 

In the Bath

In the Bath

What a contrast

What a contrast