Cuckoo Weir Island

Cuckoo Weir Island - blog post image

With the annual Swan Upping on the river Thames this week, the site is about all things swan related!

There are two very special swans in my novel The Witches Punchbowl. Their names are Feather and Fortune. Feather was attacked by a dog and ends up at a swan rescue centre, Fortune has to find her.

I took the inspiration for the story from my friend who used to volunteer at Swan Lifeline, a registered charity dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured swans in the Thames valley and surrounding areas. Kelly kindly took me and my children to visit the rescue centre, showed us the swans and explained about some of the wonderful work the rescuers do on the fabulously named Cuckoo Weir Island.

Since it’s inception in 1988 Swan Lifeline has rescued and treated over 30,000 swans. Most of them are released back into the wild with safe adoption homes found for the few who are unable to survive alone.

Swan Lifeline is run by two full time and one part time members of staff and over 20 volunteers. At this time of year they are called out on average 15 to 20 times a week. At the moment they have 60 birds being treated on Cuckoo Weir Island.

Swan Lifeline runs entirely on donations. You may like to think of some ways to raise money for them, either in your Brownie group, class group or friendship group. Send me your ideas and I’ll give you a shout out on Twitter and Instagram. Follow them on Instagram at Swan_Lifeline or post your ideas with the hashtag #CuckooWeirIslandSwans

Our ideas here on the riverbank have been:- A sponsored swim, a sponsored swan count (50 p in the pot for every swan we see), Colouring competition - 50p per entry and prize is a visit to Swan Lifeline, Selling bags of grain for swan food

If you do manage to raise a bit of money, you can either send it to Swan Lifeline or if you prefer to see what your donation bought for the centre, donate via the Swan Lifeline wish list on Amazon.



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Our Castle By The Sea - blog post image

Our Castle By The Sea

Growing up in a lighthouse, 11-year-old Pet's world has been one of storms, secret tunnels, and stories about sea monsters.  


Teachers - have you discovered @BookPenPals? A new initiative pairing authors & illustrators with schools to make reading recommendations via postcards. They're pretty oversubscribed, but if you're interested it might be worth getting your name on the waiting list. They have some fabulous authors on board.