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Calls For Scottish Power To Act Urgently To Stop Swan Deaths (Updated)

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 5th, 2013.

Power cables will finally be moved in Johnston after several birds died hitting overhead lines.

Scottish Power will take two months to complete the work at Stryt Las moving the cables underground.

Councillor David A. Bithell, said “I wrote several letters to Scottish Power and I am pleased that Scottish Power have now brought forward works for the site which should last 8 weeks and should prevent any more accidents happening in the future”

Original article from October 5th 2012:
Residents of Johnstown are calling for Scottish Power to take urgent action to protect swans at Stryt Las Country Park after this week saw the death of yet another bird when it collided with electric cables spanning the lake there.

Cindy Andrews, who lives near the park, contacted Wrexham.com to express her concern after witnessing the bird’s death herself. “It was awful,” she said “The bang sounded like a gun. I knew there’d been swans killed before but this was the first time I was there when it happened.”

Mrs Andrews explained that Scottish Power had been made aware of the issue some time ago. “My neighbour got in touch with Scottish Power a few years back, and they said that they’d make arrangements to put the cables underground by March 2011.”

Unfortunately, 18 months after it’s claimed that that should have happened, Scottish Power still haven’t managed to do anything about the problem – despite the deaths of several other swans in the intervening time period, and another collision in which a swan was injured but was taken to Ty Mawr Country Park where it eventually recovered.

Mrs Andrews says that the power cables used to have corks on to stop the swans from flying into them, but they have gradually dropped off over the years. The use of this type of ‘diverter’ is recommended by the RSPCA and seems an obvious step to take. The charity describe collisions with power lines as being “a significant cause of injury and death in swans”, explaining that they have poor forward vision and can fly at speeds reaching 50 mph.

Mrs Andrews has now contacted Johnstown Councillor David A. Bithell, who is pursuing the matter with Scottish Power. She is full of praise for his efforts and hopes he can help to bring a swift conclusion to the problem before more swans suffer. Speaking to us, Cllr Bithell said “It was very sad that this has happened and I hope that Scottish Power do bring forward their plans for the work,” also explaining that he has asked Rangers at Ty Mawr to get in touch with Scottish Power and will be following this up himself. Scottish Power confirmed that they are in “the early stages of planning to move this section of the network underground.”

In addition to the swans there, Stryt Las is known for being home to one of Europe’s largest colonies of Great Crested Newt.

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