Coronation Park and the Swans

I am doing this blog as I need to clarify a few points to make sure the correct information is in the public domain. This is reference to Coronation Park; security of the swan nests on Flora Day; and both the small and large island for nesting purposes. I need to also qualify, I am the local Cornwall Council which this area resides, but direct day-to-day management of this area is not in my responsibilities.

The following is my email to all those who are running or involved in the ‘Security for nest swans on Flora Day 2017’. My email is as follows:

“I have now asked every connected department about this (as this takes a while to make sure everyone has been asked) and from the emails I have received that on Thursday 9 February CORMAC operatives were instructed to leaf blow some paths in Coronation Park, no further works were performed by the operatives.

As for your litter pick/clean-up, I will repeat that no-one said there cannot be one taking place. However, Community groups are asked to register their litter pick with Clean Cornwall, www.cleancornwall.org, this not only avoids duplication of works but also allows the community groups to borrow equipment or to request a waste collection. When I emailed you, I asked for this to be merely postponed until the permission had been given both by the leaseholder and Cornwall Council. This had not been given, which is why I raised the point with you.

On this occasion the litter pick was not registered with Clean Cornwall. I very much welcome individuals or groups helping to keep our open spaces looking good, but processes must be followed to ensure the safety of those volunteers and the public. For instance, I run Pride in Porthleven (PIP) and before any clean-up/litter pick, I make sure I have permission from the landowner/leasehold prior to the work being carried out.

Furthermore, all parties including myself want to make sure the swans are safe. This was the original request was you wanted to protect them on Flora Day. This security has been arranged for Flora Day.

As for placing bales on the large island, this has to be part of a conversation with the leaseholder who in the past has offered help, and suggested the use of the small island – as the small island cannot be accessed by members of the public. The leaseholder and SKA have also offered to set up a public meeting, with bird experts to look into a dedicated care plan for all the birds. As for the size the lake, the bird population is far too great. At a count this morning, there were 16 swans on the lake.

Previous advice from RSPB, have said this area should only support one breeding pair. The RSPB have suggested feeding is discouraged, but this is hard to do, as many families enjoy doing this. Even by stopping the sale of the food in the area, people will bring their own. I know I did when I had a small child.

We are totally supportive of a sign saying which food stuffs can be given to the birds. This helps educate people on the natural food for the different birds. The birds are overfed and much of the food given to them isn’t eaten. I also like the idea of a floating island for the birds. However, this has to be done in conjunction with the leaseholder of the café, the current owners of the area and the new owners, SKA.

I will reiterate, I am very supportive of protecting the swans and making the whole area habitable for them. As I am for the ducks and other birds.  I also as the local member have to balance the requests of other people who have complained about the state of the island and want to use it. It is about being fair to everyone.

Furthermore, The SKA, have said: we are pleased that there is such great community support for protecting the swans around Flora Day. However we would not wish to see the creation of a habitat which would encourage an increase the swan numbers as this would have a negative effect on the diversity of other species in the Park and affect the wider public enjoyment of the area. Once the Park is transferred to SKA we will, in coordination with the Lakeside Cafe, take advice from wildfowl experts as part of a balanced plan to encourage the diversity of species. We will consult the wider public and define a policy for the management of all wildfowl in the area which will then set the ground rules for interventions such as Flora Day swan protection.”

I am happy for this entire email to be made public. My aim is for everyone to work together, as we all appreciate Coronation Park as a great place for all ages”.