An Afternoon With the Swans | Worcester, England

30 January 2015

Worcester (a city I literally can not pronounce to save the life of me) is famous for many things: Worcestershire Sauce, the location of two royal tombs, and to my surprise… swans. On my first visit to the city I was amazed to learn that Worcester's swan population is well over 100. Seeing that many swans on the River Severn was a pleasant surprise on my sunny day trip to this beautiful city.

While visiting Worcester I discovered the Swan Food Project. Any bird larger than a seagull scares me slightly, no matter how beautiful. Because of this I realized I knew very little about swan protection, let alone their diet. I was intrigued by the little sign inside Worcester's cathedral explaining swan malnutrition and starvation. Next to the sign was a row of "Swan Food". Seeing as it was such a beautiful day, I bought a bag for 1.50 and headed to the river.

With each bag you are given a pamphlet explaining the Swan Food Project. The project's goal is to increase public awareness on the dangers of feeding swans food that isn't part of their normal diet. For example, stale bread seems like a logically food to feed birds, however it can cause fatal diseases in swans. Fresh lettuce, watercress, or dandelion leaves are more natural foods that can be included in a swan's diet. Even grass is better than bread!

The Swan Food bags are put together by a local volunteer and dispersed throughout the city. Each bag contains nutritious pellets that supplement their natural diet. With my Swan Food bag in hand, I headed down to the river.

You don't have to be Worcester to help out your local swans. Just be aware of what food you are feeding them and you're already helping their growing community!

Happy Friday!

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