ROYAL Swan Upping took place on the Thames yesterday in the pouring rain.

Swan Upping plays an important role in the conservation of the mute swan and involves The Queen’s Swan Warden collecting data, assessing the health of young cygnets and examining them for any injuries.

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The Royal Swan Uppers, who wear the scarlet uniform of Her Majesty The Queen, travel in traditional rowing skiffs together with Swan Uppers from the Vintners’ and Dyers’ livery companies.

The Oxford Times:

They are pictured completing their duties at Benson, and they also visited Culham Lock and Abingdon Bridge.

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The Queen’s Swan Marker website said: “Cygnets are extremely vulnerable at this early stage in their development and Swan Upping affords an opportunity to help both adults and cygnets that might otherwise go untreated.

The Oxford Times:

“Many schools are invited to meet the Swan Uppers on their journey up river.

“The children involved may have the opportunity to view cygnets at close quarter and ask questions about swans, the boats used and The Queen’s ownership of mute swans.

The Oxford Times:

“The participation of school children is a positive element of Swan Upping and their enthusiasm for wildlife is always to be encouraged.”

The Oxford Times:

Yesterday was the last day of the Swan Upping timetable, which began on Monday at Sunbury and Shepperton Lock.

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The website also said a number of swans have been attacked and killed by dogs although it did not specify locations.

The Oxford Times:

It said: “There has been a very disappointing and distressing increase in the incidence of dog attacks on swans over recent months.”