On Tuesday December 18, 2012 the female Australian black swan from Queen Mary's Gardens, was found dead following a fox attack. We are extremely saddened by this incident, which is the first of its kind in the Gardens for ten years.
The male black swan has been removed from the lake and is being housed at Nature Study Centre in Regent's Park to reduce any distress to the bird.
The Royal Parks
Two black swans separated after a lovers' tiff have been reunited and will return this Friday to their home on the lake in Queen Mary's Gardens, which has been given a makeover.
The pair of Australian swans from Queen Mary's Gardens Lake in The Regent's Park caused The Royal Parks' Wildlife Officers to scratch their heads when they began squabbling in early summer last year. Swans mate for life and this particular pair had been together for almost seven years. Wildlife Officer Dave Johnson took one of the pair to the top pond at the Nature Study Centre on Hannover Island, leaving the other to cool off on the lake in Queen Mary's Gardens.
Happily though, it wasn't long before the swan left in Queen Mary's Gardens took to the Inner Circle in search of its mate and ready to make peace. Dave Johnson spotted the lonely swan searching the Inner Circle, calling for his mate and reunited the two love birds at the Nature Study Centre.
But before the birds could return to the lake in Queen Mary's Gardens, there were some important home improvements to be made.
Bi-annual water testing at Queen Mary's Gardens Lake had revealed that the water quality had been deteriorating and if left unchecked, the lake could have become starved of oxygen to the detriment of native flora and fauna. This was partly due to carp stirring up the lake bed, which prevented sunlight penetrating the lake and aquatic plants growing, while waste produced by fish led to an excessive amount of algae growth.
Thanks to a grant from the SITA Trust Enriching Nature Fund and with support from the Friends of Regent's Park and Primrose Hill and The Royal Parks Foundation in partnership with BNP Paribas, The Royal Parks has introduced 560 square metres of Common Reed to improve water quality through its ability to 'lock- up' nutrients that would otherwise encourage algae growth. The reeds' introduction also provides nesting sites for a range of birds and supports The Royal Parks' work as part of the Westminster Biodiversity Action Plan.
The new reed-beds, which include Water Mint, Yellow Flag Iris, Marsh Woundwort, Purple Loosestrife and Fools Watercress, have been added to create habitats that attract and benefit a wider range of birds, insects and amphibians, including dragonflies, damselflies,newts, frogs and toads. Visitors can use the green Oak board walk to take a closer look at the reed-beds and their inhabitants.
The lake has also been de-silted and five galvanised steel baskets around the edge of the lake have been filled with the silt. The baskets act as a barrier stopping silt building up again in the centre of the lake.
Silt curtains made of a cloth like material which counteracts the force of the silt, have also been added to the lake. They are secured by wooden posts, which slide through specially designed pockets in the curtain.
Visitors can now see most of the newly enhanced lake form any position on its perimeter. Old, over mature shrubs have been removed from the banks and replaced with Hemp, Agrimony and Red Campion; all native British plants.
Andy Williams, Assistant Park Manager at The Regent's Park, said:
"We have increased the views of the lake and in so doing have re-connected it with the surrounding gardens. New information panels providing park visitors with more information about the project will soon be installed.
"The swans are returning to a vastly improved habitat, which when it matures, will provide more shelter for the swans and other native waterfowl such as Mallards and Coots. The swans will protect this shelter, deterring non-native Egyptian and Canada Geese whose excrement adds too many phosphates to the lake."
The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill
About The Regent's Park, Primrose Hill and The Royal Parks:
Every year millions of Londoners and tourists visit Regent's Park and Primrose Hill. The park's full name is The Regent's Park, having been designed by John Nash for The Prince Regent, later George IV, but it is commonly referred to as Regent's Park.
One of the capital's eight Royal Parks, Regent's Park covers 160 hectares and includes the stunning internationally renowned Queen Mary's Gardens, which features more than 30,000roses of 400 varieties as well as the gloriously restored Victorian formality of William Andrews Nestfield's Avenue Gardens. With excellent sports facilities spanning nearly 100 acres it includes the largest outdoor sports area in central London.
The park also houses the Open Air Theatre and London Zoo while the rural character and dramatic views from nearby Primrose Hill have made it a popular place with Londoners. Regent's Park is home to the country's largest free to access waterfowl collection and is a vital resource for wildlife at the heart of the capital. Over 100 species of wild bird can be seen in Regent's Park each year, many breeding on site, and it is the only place in Westminster where hedgehogs still thrive.
The Royal Parks are: Bushy Park, The Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill,Richmond Park and St James's Park. The Royal Parks also manages Victoria Tower Gardens, Brompton Cemetery, Grosvenor Square Gardens and the gardens of 10, 11and 12 Downing Street.
For further information please visit: www.royalparks.org.uk
For media enquiries contact: 0300 061 2128 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About SITA Trust:
Independent environmental body, SITA Trust has been Enhancing Communities and Enriching Nature through the Landfill Communities Fund since 1997. To date it has committed more than £89 million to over 3,000 projects in England, Scotland and Wales.
For media information on SITA Trust contact Jools Granville, Communications Manager on 01454 262940 or 078710 253048 or email email@example.com
The Royal Parks Foundation is the charity that helps support London's eight amazing Royal Parks for everyone to enjoy. The Foundation raises funds for a wide variety of projects from wildlife conservation and landscape restoration, to community sport, education and art.
Visit our website to see how you can help The Royal Parks, at www.SupportTheRoyalParks.org. From adopting ducks, to school visits, guided walks and details of Park Projects you can support, there are plenty of ways you can get involved to protect and enhance the parks' enormous value to our heritage, education, wellbeing and nature.
The Royal Parks Foundation is a registered charity, no. 1097545. Royal Parks Foundation (USA) is registered under 501(c)3
About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas is a leader in banking and financial services and has had a presence in the UK for nearly 150years. The bank has had a partnership with the Royal Parks Foundation since 2008 and each summer, employee volunteers help with a series of hand-on nature conservation projects. This forms part of BNP Paribas' UK Community and Charity Programme, which provides a range of educational, environmental and community regeneration schemes to support residents from disadvantaged neighbourhoods in London.