Fishermen urged to help reservoir swans

Clattercote Reservoir, Claydon.
Clattercote Reservoir, Claydon.

A lifelong fisherman has said more should be done to stop the decline of the swan population at a popular fishing spot outside Banbury.

Clattercote Reservoir near Claydon welcomes fisherman throughout the year and at one stage had eight swans nesting on the lake.

But since the start of the year the number has reduced, with many of the birds getting injured by fishing lines and things thrown at them. Two swans have died as a result.

The fisherman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It is a really concerning situation at the reservoir.

“There are signs up there to tell people who fish to be respectful to the swans and wildlife.

“The bailiffs try to do whatever they can to help the situation, but the swans can hardly swim with the lines around their feet. It is disgraceful and I am absolutely gutted.”

RSPCA officers were called to the lake recently to help a family of swans when the father of the group was caught up in fishing line.

Inspector Jamie Godfrey said: “This case highlights the dangers posed to wildlife by carelessly discarded fishing litter.

“We urge anyone about to go out fishing to make sure they take those extra few minutes to dispose of their litter properly and account for all of their tackle.

“These swans have been through a tough time so we would really urge people in the area to treat them with respect and remember that the lake is their home.

“We would like to remind people that swans are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and anyone found guilty of disturbing, injuring or killing them could face a fine of up to £5,000 and a six-month spell in prison.”