Wildlife guides – nesting and breeding habits

May 12, 2021 | Community News, Council News

The Parish Council has received several emails regarding the protection of ducklings from the swans.  Comments have been made on social media and there has even been the suggestion raised of moving the swan to another location, such as a swan sanctuary.  Over the years the Council receives similar feedback.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust have offered the following information:

“Thank you for your email. You are right in thinking that this is territorial behaviour on the part of the swans  and that they are following natural instincts.  You can read more about both nesting mallards and mute swans on this page:


All birds, their nests, and eggs are protected. The law does not define a bird’s breeding season but protects all active nests regardless of the time of the year. It is an offence to intentionally:

  • take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built
  • kill, injure or take any wild bird
  • take or destroy the egg of any wild bird

This means that in most circumstances neither the swans nor the mallards must on be disturbed whilst they are breeding. There are however also certain exceptions when activities which would otherwise be illegal may be permitted under license. You could consult Natural England’s Wildlife Licensing Service  for more information.

Going forward, a site survey by a professional ecologist will help you choose the best management options .  When changing the management of any potential semi-natural habitat, the Trust would normally recommend that you contact a professional

consultant ecologists to request a site visit so that a baseline survey of the plants and animals can be compiled. This would allow the appropriate planning of any habitat management without the threat of accidentally damaging existing habitats or species. The choice of ecological consultant is yours and you can select one here”


1 Comment

  1. J Davies

    In responce to Cornwall Wildlife Trust comments and suggestions; firstly I do not believe the swans should be removed from the lake. The swans have choosen Millbrook Lake as their home and bring joy to a great many people most of the time and have been resident on the lake for many years, it would not be the same without them.
    I have contacted one of the ecological consultants on this list provided by the link above; he was very shocked and concerned that the lake was being flushed twice a month and the effect this must have on the bat, bird and other wildlife population and that these may eventually be lost by the interference to nature the flushing of the lake causes to both wildlife and plants. He did not feel this was something that the expense and expertise of an independent ecoligist could usefully contribute to, the damage and possible courses of action were clear without this.
    To enable Millbrook’s greatest asset to flourish, this really must be looked at and a long term solution be put in place before irreparable damage is caused.


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