Published: 06:00, 04 April 2021
A temporary bridge at a coastal park on the Island is being removed to stop swans from being attacked during nesting season.
Swale council is ditching the bridge at Barton's Point Coastal Park, Sheerness, after concerns it was interfering with the birds safety.
The floating pontoon bridge is creating an obstacle for the swans, named Charlie and Matilda, which has resulted in them walking across the park towards the lake where they are vulnerable to attack from foxes and dogs.
It comes after last summer when all the cygnets were killed and has prompted the local authority to make a change this time around and remove the obstacle.
The new bridge design will allow the swans to swim under the bridge which removes the need for them to walk across the park.
It will be removed, with the assistance from the Sea Cadets, on Tuesday, just in time for nesting season which is usually between April and July.
The removal couldn't come soon enough for Ray Allibone from Swampys wildlife rescue who has been keeping an eye on the swans.
Ray, 66, said: "It was dangerous for the swans and their babies last year as they couldn't get past the bridge so were forced to go on across the park where they were targeted by foxes and ended up losing all their babies."
The Sheerness resident is looking to build a new aluminium nest for the swans during nesting season to keep them out of danger.
He added: "They're currently on the side of the bank so can be attacked by predators, so we're hoping to sort them something out soon which will float in the water."
An alternative route through the park via Marine Parade will be needed and the council have put up signs informing residents about this.
The temporary bridge was installed in February 2020 when the original bridge was removed.
A replacement for the permanent bridge is still in the works with a current design for the project awaiting approval from Historic England due to the fact the Queenborough Lines is a scheduled ancient monument.