RSPCA and fire crews rescue swan stuck 30ft up tree

The RSPCA and fire crews from Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service came to the rescue of a swan
The RSPCA and fire crews from Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service came to the rescue of a swan

Bird trapped in fork of branches after being ‘blown into tree by wind’

The RSPCA and fire crews from Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service came to the rescue of a swan who got trapped in a tree during the stormy weather.

A woman spotted the swan, stuck in a fork of the tree branches, on Sunday morning (15 January) and alerted the animal welfare charity who attended.

Animal collection officer (ACO) Derek Hampson arrived at Pennington Flash Country Park, near Leigh, and soon realised he’d need help to rescue the stricken swan.

“The bird was wedged in the tree around 30ft up and there was no way I was going to be able to free her alone, safely,” ACO Hampson said.

“I called Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service who were wonderfully helpful and sent a team out to assist.

“We had to wade through a ditch full of 5ft deep water and climb up a muddy bank to reach the tree. And we had to cut the tree down to get to the swan as we couldn’t reach her by ladder.

“As the fire crews brought the tree down slowly, by getting it to fall into another tree nearby, I managed to use my reach and rescue pole to grab hold of the swan and ease her out of the tree.

“I believe she’d been there for a couple of days and it seems as though she’d been blown into the tree, where she got trapped, by strong stormy winds as she tried to take off nearby.

“She had some bruising and cuts to her wings and was underweight but I’m confident that, after a few days of treatment and food at the vets, she’ll be strong enough for release.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to the fire and rescue teams for their assistance. We’re always incredibly grateful for any help we receive from them.

“We work very closely with the emergency services and their highly trained crews have assisted in many animal rescues over the years. Like any member of the public, the RSPCA can request the help of the fire and rescue service when there is a question of health and safety and we are unable to access and rescue an animal in trouble ourselves.”

Leigh crew manager Marc Murphy said: “We arrived to find the swan trapped approximately 10m up a tree that was only accessible through marsh and water channels.

“Our water incident unit worked closely with the RSPCA officer and used a small bow saw to gently cut the tree to access the swan and carry it to safety.

“The rescue was a success thanks to the experience and collaborative working knowledge of firefighters and the RSPCA.”

Anyone who is concerned for the welfare of an animal or who sees an animal in distress, like this swan, should call the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency line on 0300 1234 999.

To support the RSPCA in it’s vital work rescuing animals, please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).