Ban The Bread – Developments

I heard some pretty exciting news on the radio the other day. Stratford-upon-Avon have removed all of the posters requesting for people the bin the bread and not feed the swans. I’m thrilled with the news. The sanctuary’s there, which ordinarily deal with the rehabilitation of injured birds are in fact over run with malnourished swans. It makes my heart break.

I’ve said it twice already and I’m going to go with a third time lucky on this one, but I simply cannot comprehend how anyone expected that after centuries of feeding these animals, allowing them to become in part reliant on our feeding, we can be told to pull the plug and expect the swans to just cope. It’s so incredibly short sighted and it makes me hugely cross. I can only hope that the charity that put the message out there, had hoped it wouldn’t catch on as heavily as it did, but now charities across the UK, and the swan population are struggling immensely because of this campaign.

I struggle to see how people can get behind and support the charities now, whilst we are a nation of animal and wildlife lovers I also think we’re quite engrained on the mentality of you made your bed. Unfortunately the campaign of that one charity may have scuppered support for them all. I’ve searched and searched but I can’t find any word from that charity to suggest they were wrong, and without that in place how can peoples faith really be restored.

Like I said in my previous posts on this when I identify with an issue I get a real bee in my bonnet about it, and this, is one of those issues.

As frustrating and shocking as it is I can’t help but think there is the potential for gains to be made, and I really think it is an opportunity for the CRT to engage with free loaders of the canal network. I know it’s an awful term but I couldn’t think of a better one, it is those, dog walkers, swan feeders and darn cyclists that the CRT need to connect with and attempt to secure funding from to preserve the network we love and rely upon.

Whilst people are now coming out and saying yes please feed swans bread, I think the people who are further removed from the issue, your average swan feeder is you like, is likely to be confused. Heck I’m confused and I’ve spent countless hours researching this. I see a real opportunity for the CRT to remove that confusion and create a simple, easy access solution.

Upon hearing the news on the radio I plucked up the courage, and emailed my garbled thoughts to the CRT, it might come of nothing, it might come to something. In the short term I’m glad to see that steps are being taken to try to combat this entirely man made issue.

The problem for me comes entirely from the campaigns that have been pushed so heavily in the last 12 months, I’m not trying to suggest the charities don’t do an amazing job, you only have to visit one to see the round the clock care that is at the heart of what they do, I just think the campaign was a misguided chance that those involved thought would be a way to help wildfowl get the nutrition they need. It’s not a blame game, we are where we are and it’s what we do now which will make the difference. All I’ve been able to find is sloping shoulders so far. Instead of whole heartedly pushing a ban with no alternative offered I think the campaign should have focussed on providing an easy access low cost alternative. It’s now time for someone somewhere to stand up accept the issue and attempt a solution, I don’t want to suggest that bread is the solution, education and access are to me the solution.

I will of course keep you posted in the likely event I hear back from the CRT.

James & Kirsty

A diary of live aboard life

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