11:25AM, Friday 23 February 2018
A charity needs donations to help continue its work feeding the falling swan population in Windsor.
More than 50 swans have died since the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed the presence of avian influenza in the area earlier this month.
The council erected signs on the banks of the River Thames warning members of the public against feeding sick swans due to the risk of spreading the disease.
Volunteers from the Datchet-based Swan Support have been feeding the swans by emptying bags of corn into the water.
But with each food package costing about £7, the charity says it needs the support of the public to continue its efforts.
Wendy Hermon, treatment and rescue co-ordinator at Swan Support, said: “Although we haven’t seen any swans die for a few days, the council will keep the signs up for the next couple of weeks so we still need donations.
“If we just got seven people donating £1 that’s a bag of corn.
“We’ve been really taken aback by the public support so far.”
She added that a lack of food could force the birds to move elsewhere, increasing the risk of spreading the disease.
“The swans are absolutely starving as they’re used to getting food from the public,” she said.
“The concern is that this will cause them to disperse to other sites along the river.”
Visit www.swansupport.org.uk and click on the donate button to support the charity.
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