Swan Rescue on the Crammar

Some way to a happy ending to the story we broke yesterday about oil pollution in the Crammar pond after a van fire nearby, that thanks to Swan Support of Windsor and the RSPCA, all of the swans have been rescued from the contamination and taken to safety.

Tipped off by Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital, who I messaged our article, Swan Support arrived before lunchtime. I will get myself into these situations, but rather than press “live on the scene,” a few volunteers and I dared the rain to help hold off traffic on the road, should the swans have attempted an escape across it.

After inspecting the pond myself this morning and seeing those swans drenched in oil, I became intricately involved, and it was hearbreaking to see how filthy the swans were underneath, when the team finally fished them from the water.

A fascinating operation to observe, first involving waders then a canoe, to corner the distressed birds. But after halfhour of chasing around the pond, the Swan Support team and one member of the RSPCA successfully rescused them.

A massive thanks to them, but only in part is the problem solved. Up till 1:30pm there was absolutely no sign of the Environmental Agency Devizes Town Council has promised will turn up to inspect the pond, unless we missed them. By lunchtime the slick had spread across three quarters of the pond, and with precipitation from the rain, you could smell the oil in the water.

Pressure is on to get this process moving for the sake of the ducks and other pond life still affected by the pollution.

Suspicion that someone tampered with the boom which failed to block off the oil has proved non-conclusive, as CCTV found no evidence. I’m of the opinion it collapsed through natural causes.


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