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Legal status

As native wild birds, swans enjoy statutory protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is an offence to intentionally injure, take or kill a wild swan. 

The Act similarly protects the eggs and nests of swans. It is an offence to take or possess the egg of a wild mute swan, or to damage or destroy the nest of a mute swan whilst in use or being built. Unfortunately, swans and their nests are sometimes a target for vandals. 

Anyone seeing an offence against swans or other wildlife is encouraged to contact their police Wildlife Liaison Officer through their local police station.

Bird guide