WHILE feeding the swans may normally be a harmless pastime, a swan rescue volunteer is warning it could be life-threatening for one family of birds.

Four cygnets and two adult swans have been crossing Kingshill Road every day for the past few weeks to eat bread and corn that are being thrown to them by people nearby.

Sue Hulbert, who runs the South West Swan Sanctuary, was with police at 10am yesterday to return the birds to the canal safely and said it was only a matter of time before one of them is hit by a vehicle.

“The swans from the Kingshill canal keep crossing the main road and going down on to the grass between the houses and people are feeding them,” she said.

“They are going to the same place every day. That is a busy road and sooner or later they will cop it.

“People shouldn’t feed them in that area as they keep going back for more. If people want to feed them it is a five-minute walk down to the canal.”

Sue guides the swans back to the canal each day, which takes about 15 minutes depending on the swans’ behaviour, while police stop traffic in Kingshill Road.

“The police are very good. They are always there to give me a hand. “Sometimes they call me after receiving calls from the public or I call them if I am first to hear about it,” said Sue.

The swans started coming out of the canal and roaming by the houses on the same side of the road earlier this year, but last month they started crossing the road.

“It wasn’t so bad at first because they weren’t on the main road but now they have found their way across. They cross by the petrol station,” said Sue.

“They are going to get killed, I can’t be there all the time. I am very worried.

“Swans do go on walkabouts but not every day like they are. Nice people feed them but I need them to go down to the canal instead.

“When the swans realise there isn’t any food, they should stop.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Since September 27 we have had 13 reports from the public about swans crossing at the bottom of Kingshill Road.

“People have been calling to let us know there are delays and there is congestion.”