Cygnet on Lower Dam in Lymm returned safely to Parents

todaySunday 6 August

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The lone cygnet which was seen on the lower dam over the last couple of days has been safely reunited with its parents on Saturday evening

The 5 hour rescue was led by WW Wings organisation and assisted by Tracey Wilkinson, Oscar Wilkinson and Helen Nelson, producer of Kids Live @5 on MIX 56.

After spotting the 12 week old cygnet on the lower dam in Lymm Village, and after various social media posts, Tracey Wilkinson of Lymm Village, contacted several wildlife organisations to gain advice on how best to assist the cygnet in returning to its parents.

It is though the cygnet became separated from its family a couple of days prior by being taken from the main dam to the lower dam via the current of the overflow under the A56, Church Road.

Timing is critical

Generally it is believed, that separated cygnets are only accepted back into the swan family if the re introduction takes place within 48 hours. After this time they could be rejected.

Col and Ange from WW Wings responded to Tracey’s request for help and arrived to the Lower Dam in Lymm Village around 5pm Saturday 5th August. Tracey, Oscar and Helen met them at the Lower Dam and the team considered the safest way to catch the cygnet.

Col and Ange have many years of experience of reuniting swans.

Initially, it was thought the easiest way to access the cygnet was by Col gaining entry to the water from the Dingle side. After attracting the cygnet’s attention with food, Col tried to gain the cygnets trust.

Sadly, there was no opportunity to catch them at this point and the team went back to the Dinosaur foot print area, and after speaking to some of the residents in the white cottages, Col and Ange tried to feed the cygnet from the front gardens at the edge of the lower dam – a big thank you to the residents on both sides of the Lower Dam for their patience and support to the team.

Watch the rescue here

First rescue attempt

After a good time of feeding, sadly the cygnet once again swam towards the other side of the lower dam.

After another attempt to gain the cygnets trust by feeding on the Dingle side at around 6.30pm, it was apparent that the cygnet was no longer hungry and was no longer coming close to the waters edge.

The rescue was halted for an hour until the cygnet had rested and until it was thought that they would be hungry enough to be further attracted by food.

Second time lucky!

The rescue recommenced and at approximately 8.00pm after feeding a mixture of bread, meal worm and corn, the cygnet was caught by Col.

Col then carried the cygnet to his car which was outside the post office and checked them over.

They were not hurt, and the cygnet was calm enough to lean his head over Col’s back and sit on Ange’s knee as they drove them to the Upper Dam.

The cygnet could not just be released onto the Dam until the team could be sure that the swan family would accept them.

The Swan family had to be located to do this. Typically this evening the swan family was not at the front of the Dam water, but beyond the wishing bridge. 

Col carried the cygnet down to the water’s edge and re introduced him to the family. It was amazing to see – the Dad came over and made some loud hissing noises towards Col, which Col explained was a good sign of the Dad protecting his young.

The cygnet was also calling to his family.

Col and Helen with the rescued Cygnet


After a couple of minutes of this exchange, Col then released the cygnet into the water, and they immediately swam over to join their siblings.  

The Swan family all began the motion of lifting and nodding their heads towards each other, which is a known a sign of acceptance.

Just after 9.30pm on Saturday 5th August, after 2 days apart, the swan family, Mum Dad and 4 cygnets were all happily reunited on the Dam.

A huge thank you to Col and Ange from the WW Wings team for all their expertise, patience and dedication towards reuniting the swans.

It really was something magical to see!

Written by: Helen Nelson

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todaySaturday 5 August

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