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Swans rescued from M20 near Leybourne

By Claire McWethy

A group of swans caused a flap after making their way onto a busy motorway.

The bird and its six cygnets were spotted waddling along the M20 London-bound off slip at Junction 4 for Leybourne this afternoon.

But thankfully the feathered family managed to escape from the ordeal unharmed, after being plucked to safety by members of Highways England. 

The feathery family were taken to safety. Picture Highways England

The feathery family were taken to safety. Picture: Highways England

Traffic officers Nick Sivell and Roy Roberts, assisted by their colleagues Lee Turner and Mike Peterson, along with RSPCA animal collection officer Emma Byrne, flew into action to help them to safety after they being alerted by police.

They stopped drivers on the road to avoid an accident and the animals were successfully relocated to nearby Leybourne Lakes.

Traffic officer Nick Sivell said: “It was certainly interesting having to help chaperone the swan family to safety, and I want to thank my colleagues and partners involved to ensure we could resolve this swiftly and successfully.

“We’re not too sure what they were doing, and think they may have been trying to get to the lake because they were feeling peckish.

The swans were rescued from the M20. Picture Highways England

The swans were rescued from the M20. Picture: Highways England

“Hopefully if the birds decide they need to cross a busy road in the future, they’ll cygnal properly and use the flyover next time.”

RSPCA animal collection officer, Emma Byrne, thanked Highways England for assisting with the rescue.

“As the swans were on a busy motorway I wouldn’t have been able to reach them without their assistance,” she said.

 “The male had some wire round his leg which I removed but apart from this they were all in a good condition.

“We have no idea how or why they ended up on the London-bound carriageway of the M20 but I’m so glad that this story had a happy ending and after being checked over I was able to release them at an appropriate site.”

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