SJ6887 : Mute Swans Feeding on the Bridgewater Canal

near to Lymm, Warrington, Great Britain

Mute Swans Feeding on the Bridgewater Canal
Mute Swans Feeding on the Bridgewater Canal
The mute swan (Cygnus olor) is a very large white waterbird. It has a long S-shaped neck, and an orange bill with black at the base of it. It breeds across most of the UK and may be seen anywhere there is a shallow lake, or a slow-flowing river or canal, even in urban areas and parks. This pair are feeding on the grass bank of the Bridgewater Canal - much better for them than dry bread thrown into the water by passers by (LinkExternal link - Feeding Swans, Geese and Ducks).

Mute Swans are less vocal than other swans but, despite the name, they are certainly not “mute”, making a variety of grunting, hoarse whistling, and snorting noises.
The Bridgewater Canal
Often considered to be the first "true" canal, the Bridgewater Canal was commissioned by Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, to transport coal from his mines in Worsley. The section from Worsley to Manchester opened on 17th July 1761; it was later extended from Manchester to Runcorn, and then from Worsley to Leigh. Coal was needed in large quantities to fuel the industrial revolution and the canal enabled coal and other goods to be transported efficiently and cheaply to the rapidly expanding towns and cities. Its success helped inspire a period of intense canal building although it later faced intense competition from the Liverpool and Manchester Railway and the Macclesfield Canal.

The canal is connected to the Rochdale Canal (LinkExternal link ) in Manchester, the Trent and Mersey Canal at Preston Brook, south-east of Runcorn, and to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Leigh. It once connected with the River Mersey at Runcorn but has since been cut off by a slip road to the Silver Jubilee Bridge.

Navigable throughout its history, it is one of the few canals in Britain not to have been nationalised, and remains privately owned. Commercial traffic continued on the canal until 1974. By this time, canals were becoming more important as a leisure facility and pleasure craft now use the canal which forms part of the Cheshire Ring circular canal route.

For many years, the canal around Worsley was noted for the distinctive bright orange colouring of the water. This was a result of iron oxide from the mines tainting the water as the canal passes through Worsley. A £2.5 million remedial scheme (LinkExternal link ) is currently being undertaken to remove this colouration.

The Bridgewater Canal is owned and operated by the Manchester Ship Canal Company in conjunction with the Bridgewater Canal Trust.

LinkExternal link Bridgewater Canal Company
LinkExternal link Pennine Waterways
LinkExternal link Wikipedia
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
year taken
2012
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SJ6887, 89 images   (more nearby)
Photographer
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Image classification?
Supplemental image
Date Taken
Thursday, 22 March, 2012   (more nearby)
Submitted
Friday, 23 March, 2012
Geographical Context
Wild Animals, Plants and Mushrooms 
Canal (from Tags)
Bridgewater 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 6811 8733 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:22.9109N 2:28.8528W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 6815 8729
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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Other Tags
Mute Swans  Canal Bank  Canal Towpath  Wild Fowl  Wildfowl  Water Birds 

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