Fundraiser for a wildlife raft to be installed in Roker Park continues despite death of baby swan

A Sunderland woman is pushing ahead with fundraising plans to have a safety raft installed on the pond in Roker Park despite the death of the cygnet.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 2:57 pm

Ecologist Julie Dyson, from Roker, launched an online fundraiser in the hope of raising £1,500 for a raft to be installed at the pond in Roker Park so that a pair of nesting swans have a safe haven if they were to feel threatened.

Julie’s fundraiser, along with help from a local business, has now raised just under £4,000 for materials and the installation of the raft.

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The cygnet has sadly died however Julie is vowing to continue on with her fundraising efforts.

The 36-year-old said: “It is just a shame that there was only one cygnet, we think it died in a freak accident where the mother stepped on it or if it was just natural causes.

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"We have all the funds in place with just under £4,000 raised from both the fundraiser and a sponsor from G Baxter Auto Bodies who are offering to provide the materials, carry out the work to build the raft and then any maintenance that might be required after it is installed.

"We just need the council to approve the installation of it now and we are good to go, hopefully there won’t be any opposition to it as I think the swans have managed to bring the whole community together after such a horrible 16 months.”

Ecologist Julie says that it is almost definite that the swans will return to nest in Roker Park again next year.

Julie has also revealed that there is a very high chance that the swans could return to the pond to nest again.

She added: "Their nesting season is over now but it is almost definite that they will return to nest on the pond again next year.

"They were young parents and we don’t know if they would use the raft however at least the option for both safety and privacy would be there.

"Perhaps next time they will pick a safer area, we just don’t know and can’t interfere with them once they choose to build a nest.”

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