Fundraiser launched to provide nesting swans in Roker Park with a safety raft

Work is underway to try and secure a safety raft for a pair of nesting swans which have took up residence in the pond at Roker Park.

Ecologist Julie Dyson, from Roker, has created an online fundraiser in an effort to raise £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.

It follows Sunderland City Council having to intervene in April this year by placing a fence around the nest and warning dog owners to keep their pets away after their nesting disturbed.

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Julie has explained that the swans are not safe in their current location and that a raft could be an ideal addition to the pond to provide them with a protected area.

A fundraiser has been launched to provide nesting swans in Roker Park with a safety raft.

The 36-year-old said: “All nesting birds are protected by law yet they have been constantly disturbed and the place where they are currently nesting is not a safe place for the swans to be.

"People need to realise that the wildlife in the pond will be there to stay as their natural habitats are becoming less and less so we need to embrace the fact that this is where they want to be.

"That’s why I’ve decided to pull something together and make something good, not only for the swans but for the park as a whole.

"I understand that the swans can’t be forced to use the raft but at least it would give them a place to take shelter if they ever feel threatened.”

It is understood that the proposals for the raft have been submitted to the council and Julie hopes that there won’t be any objections to it.

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She added: “Friends of Fulwell managed to raise around £800 a few years ago to have a raft installed however it was rejected so that money is just sitting there waiting to be added to whatever we manage to raise this time.

"Fingers crossed that it will get the go ahead from Sunderland City Council and I’m hoping that the community gets behind it and there won’t be any objections.

"I think that with lockdown, people are now starting to appreciate the wildlife in the park more.”

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