Efforts to protect a pair of Shaftesbury Lake nesting swans from regular attacks from children have paid off following the arrival of several cygnets. 

Locals were left concerned after reports of children throwing stones at the unprotected nest and birds. This prompted calls to the wider public to be vigilant.

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But this week those concerns turned to joy as the little feathered fledglings began to hatch against all odds. 

Co-founders of the group Pam Jones and Gail Collins spoke of their happiness at the little arrivals

"The stress I've had behind the scenes, battling to get them protected," Pam said after the first cygnet had hatched. 

"I'm so happy. I have been checking her and the nest every morning. I was worried it all might have affected them but am so pleased that at least one has hatched.

"It can take a day or two for all of them to hatch, they need to dry off, and then they will take to the water."

Swindon Advertiser: Photo: Jo MasonPhoto: Jo Mason

The first cygnet hatched on May 18. Four more had followed since then with a sixth arriving on Friday.

Jo Mason was able to photograph the six together and was also able to capture a video of the second hatching. 

Another member of the public, Kirsty Mapes Cooney caught the first cygnet's early interactions with its mother. 

"I felt very lucky to witness this precious moment and very happy for the devoted parents whose hard work has paid off."

Later this month, the two parish councils that manage the lake, South Swindon Parish Council and Nythe, Eldene and Liden Parish Council are teaming up with wildlife rescue charity RSPCA Oak and Furrows and Swindon Police to hold an event at the lake. 

The aim of the Wildlife Discovery Day on May 28 is to help educate locals on how to be 'mindful' of the animals that call the revitalised area their home. 

Read: Swan attacks spur need for awareness event at Shaftesbury Lake

Following the initial reports of stone throwing, Wiltshire Police responded to a second incident with further reports of children throwing objects, including a metal pole which officers found near the nest. 

This sparked efforts from the Friends of Shaftesbury Lake community group who built a handmade barrier out of natural wood and campaigned to get some proper protective fencing installed to protect them. 

Despite this, concerns over the welfare of the birds persisted until this week because of how publicly accessible the nest was, and also the discovery of rat traps and poisonous bait blocks being left around the lake.