The Swan Sanctuary
A Wildlife & Environmental Centre
for the South East
Foreword – Queen Noor Al Hussein
The History of The Swan Sanctuary
The Swan Sanctuary was founded in the early 1980s by Dorothy Beeson BEM. It is the largest and only completely self-contained swan hospital in the UK. Each year thousands of swans (along with lots of other animals) are given some form of help – from bank side treatment to hospitalisation, often involving major surgery.
The sanctuary works with the full authority of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office to protect the Royal Swans from the dangers of modern society and is proud to have Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan as its principal patron.
The Swan Sanctuary – Site at Egham
The first sanctuary was born and based in Dot Beeson’s back garden. When Dot’s work with swans and animal welfare outgrew her garden Runnymede Borough Council offered her the use of the present site in Egham in 1989. Dot sold her house to finance the move and the cost of equipping the sanctuary, which featured 10 nursing ponds, 4 rehabilitation lakes, an operating theatre, an X-ray room, a washing room for oiled birds, an intensive care ward and an isolation room.
Ultimately the sanctuary outgrew the site in Egham so a long search for new premises began. After many years of raised and dashed hopes a new home was finally found in Shepperton.
The Swan Sanctuary – Site at Felix Lane, Shepperton
The site at Felix Lane comprises approximately 6 acres of land and a 5 acre lake that is connected directly to the River Thames. Development work started on 1 January 2005 and has continued ever since with various teams of volunteers all pitching in to keep costs down.