Swans to nest in Jesmond

Jesmond’s Exhibition Park could become a nesting ground for swans following today’s launch of 10 “floating islands”.

Photograph by Tim Simpson, under Creative Commons licence

While swans and other waterfowl visit Exhibition Park lake, they nest in Leazes Park and then march their cygnets through the town to Exhibition Park. But that could change, thanks to Exhibition and Brandling Parks Community Trust which has, with the aid of volunteers, created 10 floating nest sites. These are the the latest additions to the Lakeside Explorer Project, which has created natural habitats with walkways to benefit both wildlife and people.

Many of the volunteers have been students, co-recruited by SCAN (Student Community Action Newcastle) and led by Mike Duckett and Phil Hay.

The Trust’s Frances Hinton commented: “SCAN volunteers have been intrepid. They’ve helped make it such a good job.”

Newcastle University Careers Service spent half a day building islands as part of a team-building exercise, while Royal Grammar School (RGS) lent the skills of a dozen Year-11 students to the project in July.

As Exhibition Park continues its lottery-funded developments and improvements, a permanent island for birds may be created, although first the lake must be dredged.

Visitors to Exhibition Park will get a chance to see the islands being anchored on Sunday 23rd September, as part of a weekend of “ParKners” events which will include rides on a model railway, outdoor fitness, Nordic walking, putting up bird boxes and a live band.

Contact Frances Hinton (Frances_Hinton@yahoo.com) or 07950-030727 for further details