Ok, so below,very belatedly, is my entry for July traditions, it will be quite a short one but feel my poor neglected blog needed something. Quite scary that it is almost August really! I have a kind of excuse for being so bad at blogging, and writing in general really, since my last blog post. Before I get to the ‘July’ bit I thought I’d write a little excuse…
Excitingly I found a lovely flat to move to, I will probably be blogging about that very shortly too. I had been living back at my parents for a quite a while, so was doing most of my writing stuff in my, pokey it has to be said, bedroom. Very luckily I discovered a flat to rent the other end of my village. So, for about a month I was sorting, chucking, finding, boxing and moving bits and generally having a bit of a clear up/out of clutter and stuff I wanted. No room for anything else, literally and mentally! Amazing how tiring it can be…really!
So, now I have finally moved (last Friday) and am all settled and sorted I can now use the lovely space that is my flat. I am living by myself which is even better. Anyway, enough about that for a bit, I can feel a post about my new, er, life, is quite imminent as I like it so much.
July, then. What is there in July that caught my eye. I was intrigued by Swan Upping so thought I would do a little Swan Upping research to find out more.
Swan Upping ceremonies have been happening every summer since the 12th century, the ceremonies are really a census of the Swan population along stretches of the Thames taking in at least five counties.
The tradition is said to have begun when the Crown in the 12th century claimed ownership of all mute swans. In those days they also ate them at banquets and feasts! They are, thankfully!, no longer eaten but the Crown still enjoys ownership but only on certain stretches.
Swan Upping happens over a five-day period in July, the ‘swan uppers’ wear a traditional costume and can be seen in six rowing skiffs over their five-day journey.
The swan uppers are on the look out for Cygnets, on finding a brood a shout of ‘All up’ can be heard. Once a brood has been spotted the cygnets will be weighed, measured and checked for signs of injury. After a full health check they are then set free again with individual identification tags.
A report is made of the findings which goes towards helping conservationists to protect the swans which is far better than finding them and eating them!
Watch this youtube video below about swan upping for more information