Petition Closed

Cornwall Council to return the large island at Helston Boating Lake to nesting swans

This petition had 618 supporters

This petition is now closed with 634 supporters, and has been sent to Andrew Wallis at Cornwall Council and John Leech, the leaseholder at the boating lake. A copy will also be sent to the South Kerrier Alliance who will be taking over management soon.

'We ask that Cornwall County Council and the leaseholder return the large island at Helston Boating Lake to the swans at nesting season this year, and South Kerrier Alliance consider making provisions for this in the future. 634 people, many of them local have said that they would be happy for the swans to use the large island at nesting season, and it be kept off limits to the public for that time. We also ask that any strimming and other maintenance work by Cormac be carried out at a more sensitive time in order for swans and ducks to nest safely. We are also concerned that the swans and ducks are being over-fed, leading to an unsafe increase in population and would like to see public information boards that explain what the birds do and don't eat, in line with advise from the RSPB.'


Recently Cornwall County Council / Cormac* appeared to have cleared the large island at Helston Boating Lake and left it a bare and empty space. The island would ordinarily be covered in shrubs this time of year making it an ideal and safe place for the nesting swans in spring. This year however the island has been turned into an unsightly mud-flat and the swans will have no choice but to nest unsafely along the paths or in the park. Last year before Flora Day we had to put safety fencing around one nest. The large island has always been a safe place for the swans to nest and we see no reason why it has been made uninhabitable this year.   

More information on the Flora Day Swans campaign who, with the help of Helston people, have recently raised £315 towards keeping the swans at Helston Boating Lake safe on Flora Day.,

PRESS RELEASE 01/03/2017
We now have over 600 supporters on our petition asking that the large island at Helston Boating Lake be made fit for nesting swans. We have spoken to the RSPB and they totally support our idea of making the island habitable as a nesting area for the swans. They say the islands are a much safer place and should be encouraged, but there has been no resolution as to how we might achieve that this year.

They have said that expert advise should be sought by Cornwall Council / SKA in the future before any work is undertaken by Cormac at the lake. That means leaving nesting material on the islands for nesting season.
I was told by the staff at the boating lake cafe that the island had been 'strimmed' of essential knee-high grass by Cormac, and it is clear that the old nest from last year, along with leafy debris has been removed. Despite this Cormac still maintain that they carried out 'leaf-blowing' only. The proof is there. The large island is a sorry sight, full of muddy puddles. This maintenance work should only be undertaken at certain times of the year and certainly not just before nesting season the RSPB advise. 

We understand Cornwall Council wanting to keep the islands clean and tidy but the timing is all wrong. Hopefully they understand that now, after the advise from the experts. A care plan for the birds will be put in place going forward under its new management. In the long-run it is hoped that the swans will move away if food is scarcer so we should try not to feed the birds at the lake, particularly this time of year as they will be wanting to nest where food is abundant. The RSPB also advise not to feed ducks or swans bread as it has no nutritional value and can cause health problems. This is the main reason for the over-population of swans at the boating lake. We would like to see the swans moving off to Penrose but that will only happen if we stop feeding them. 

The RSPB and many local people are also in full support of the security guards that we raised £300 for earlier in the year. They will be at the lake on the evening before Flora Day and Flora Day itself making sure any swans that are nesting on the paths are safe and making sure the public are safe. There will also be security guards on the closed Porthleven Road.

We have been mentioned on BBC Radio Cornwall today, who are very supportive of the campaign.



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