Cheshire Swans Study Group

History of the group

The Group was started in August 1988 by Dennis Elphick as only fifteen breeding pairs of mute swans (cygnus olor) had been found in the whole of the County of Cheshire. The problem of low numbers of swans was put down mainly to the use of lead in fishing, and a subsequent ban on the use of lead, and the good natured change in habits by fishermen has enabled the swan population to recover to good levels in all areas. This increase led the group to study the breeding success, record moulting and wintering flocks and follow the movement of swans in Cheshire and nearby areas.

I took over Leadership of the Group in 1992, and since then the number of breeding pairs in Cheshire, has increased to the level that has made it impossible for us to monitor and ring all the cygnets. Since 1999 we have concentrated on ringing cygnets in the Borough of Crewe and Nantwich, and in the Chester District, including the Shropshire Union Canal system and the River Dee.

Our Aims

  • To monitor the Mute Swan population.
  • To make annual nest site records within the County.
  • To ring both Swans and Cygnets.
  • To check both the breeding population, moulting and wintering flocks.
  • To monitor the movement of Swans throughout the County.
  • To liaise with other Swan Study Groups.
  • To provide information for the protection of Swans and their habitat when needed.
  • To report to BTO, CAWOS and WWT.
  • To work closely with the RSPCA.