It’s easy to become blasé about swans. Big white birds you see in parks, right?
Yes they are big and they are white, but visiting the Abbotsbury Swannery is nothing like visiting your local park!
This ancient swannery is a beneficial partnership between man and nature that has been going for hundreds of years.
Kept originally by the monks of Abbotsbury as long ago as the 1300s these magnificently graceful birds flock in their hundreds around the most Westerly part of the Fleet Lagoon. Here they are fed, cared for and managed in much the same way as they have been across the centuries.
Today, you can walk among them and watch them at close quarters along with the other wildlife attracted and supported by this unique habitat. The spring and early summer is a particularly special time at the Swannery as you are able to see the baby swans hatching. The network of paths that meanders through the Swannery to the shores of the Fleet allows visitors to pass within feet of the nesting birds, their eggs and their young cygnets.
Children especially will find this an enthralling visit, but it is fascinating and enjoyable at any age. Time your visit to coincide with feeding and you’ll see the water of the Fleet whiten with birds and their wash as they land. You may even get to feed the swans yourself!
Of course you don’t have to visit the Swannery to see swans. And it is certainly something special to watch the birds flying wild and low to the water anywhere along the length of the Fleet. But if you want to see the birds and their cygnets at close range in semi-natural habitat, this is the place to be!
It’s also the place to be to see great scenery, to learn about he history and work of the swannery and swanherds and, believe it or not, to see at first-hand, one of the prototype bouncing bombs (of Dam Busters fame) once tested on the Fleet!
Yes they are big and they are white, but visiting the Abbotsbury Swannery is nothing like visiting your local park"