Cornwall

Bodyguards set to protect Flora Day nesting swans

Helston swans Image copyright Rebecca Wilbur
Image caption The mute swans nest in April and May, coinciding with Flora Day

Bodyguards are to be hired to protect nesting swans at an annual gala.

Flora Day attracts thousands to the Cornish town of Helston every May.

But the event coincides with swans nesting at Coronation Lake, which can be "very disturbing" for the birds, Heston Town Council said.

Last year a swan laid eggs on the edge of the road, leading to an area being fenced off. Photographer Rebecca Wilbur floated the idea of hiring security to protect them during the event.

The council has backed the plan and a social media campaign has raised £310 to cover the cost of employing guards to protect swans and their eggs.

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Councillor Dave Potter said: "When it gets very busy, it's very disturbing for the swans at that very critical time of their cycle."

Image caption Local couples in their finery dance through the streets of Helston to drive out winter and welcome spring

Mute swans nest in April and May. Flora Day normally takes place on 8 May.

It involves couples dancing through the streets and in and out of homes and shops to "drive out the winter and welcome spring".

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