Power lines adapted after Lincolnshire swan deaths

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image source, Josh Jones
image captionOne of the dead swans found close to the power lines on Baston Fen

New safety measures have been added to overhead power lines near a nature reserve after reports of swans being killed by them.

Posting on social media, ornithologist Josh Jones said a number of swans had been killed by power lines on Baston Fen, Lincolnshire.

He said the wires were close to feeding grounds used by the mute swans.

Western Power Distribution said it had fitted diverters to make the lines stand out to birds in flight.

Mr Jones, who works for Birdguides magazine, said he spotted four dead swans along a short stretch of road while out bird watching at the weekend.

"They were in various states of decay, some looked fairly fresh, and some looked like they had been there a couple of weeks," he said.

"It was quite a disturbing find."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

He later thanked Western Power Distribution for their prompt response after engineers installed diverters to the lines on Monday.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust also praised the response from the power company.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

In a statement, Western Power Distribution said: "Around 70 diverters have been fitted at intervals along a section of the overhead line near the old quarry at Baston after concerns were raised by a local resident regarding the safety of flying swans."

It continued: "In areas considered a high risk for bird strikes - along or adjacent to large areas of water, for example - we fit diverters on the overhead line at the time of installation, and we will always respond in areas that historically haven't experienced this issue but starts seeing bird strikes."

What is a bird diverter?

image source, Western Power Distribution
  • Bird diverters are special attachments to the lines that help make them stand out to birds in flight
  • The diverters alert birds to the presence of the power lines by rotating in the wind
  • They also contain glow-in-the-dark crystals which absorb and emit purple ultraviolet light so the birds can see them at dawn, dusk or in the dark

Source: Tomasz Paradowski, area manger for Western Power Distribution

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