Community news and investigative journalism for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets London

Wapping Canal water pumps to be controlled by timer to help cygnets

By on May 29, 2014 in Wildlife

Wapping Canal water pumps working again! Hooray! Everything in the garden canal is rosy.

Not quite.

Problem is the secret place where the swans nest is in a storm drain. Great when there is not much water in the canal and no storms – but not so great when the water is flowing again.

A weir doing its weir thing.

A weir doing its weir thing.

A real genuine actual Wildlife Ranger

So call me stupid but after a long time waiting for the pumps to be fixed it seems a little daft to turn them off again. But at the same time we need to help our wildlife when we can.

An email to Matthew Twohig, a real-life-actual-not-pretend-Wildlife-Ranger who is responsible for everything green and or feathery and or furry in our great borough, brought a swift and sensible response.

“We are aware of the cygnets and have been in contact with the swan sanctuary.

We have agreed with them as a control method to swap the pump to a timer to limit the risk [to the cygnets].

The advice from the swan sanctuary is that as they have hatched they are more robust than people realise and are unlikely to come to harm.

The swan sanctuary have advised that we continue to keep a close eye on them and if they need to they will intervene but stress the importance of not touching or manually moving the nest.

Turning off the pump fully is not ideal but was suggested to the swan sanctuary.

Our team and our contractor monitor this but would be very grateful if residents could assist us in keeping an eye on the cygnets as they enjoy the canal.”

Which all seems good. Pumps on timer, everyone keeps an eye out, don’t mess with the nest.

Swan with five cygnets hitching a ride London

Dogs? Or dog food?

And if you do walk your dog along the canal do try and use a lead. I saw a couple of cute and cuddly wuddly little puppies have a sniff around the canal last night off leads. Thankfully they did not decide to sniff near the swans or they would have been converted to dog food fairly quickly.

Just saying.

Many thanks to Matthew and his team and Chris and crew of Bow Landscaping for all their work.


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