Radio 4 stops fox attacks on swans
Published 08/08/2011 | 12:55
Conservationists are using BBC Radio 4 to stop foxes attacking swans.
Swans at the Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset are protected by fences stretching nearly 60 metres out across the lagoon but crafty foxes used to swim round the defences and cause havoc.
Wardens are now keeping the hungry foxes away from the birds by blasting out programmes from the national radio station because it "is so boring that foxes won't go near it".
"They caused a huge amount of damage on a regular basis," said swanherd Dave Wheeler, who added the radio does not disturb the swans.
"It was a farmer that put us on to Radio 4. In his words - Radio 4 is so boring that foxes won't go near it."
At the outer reaches of the swannery, close to the water's edge, Mr Wheeler has put radios that play BBC Radio 4 at full volume.
He said: "Foxes follow the boundary fence looking for a way to get in to the swannery and it's when they get to the water that we need to deter them.
"They hear voices and they think people must be around and so they go away.
"I never knew the name of the farmer. He was from Devon and was visiting the swannery. We thought it was a big joke at first but he eventually convinced us that Radio 4 worked for him and so we thought: 'if it's worked for him, it should work for us'.
"He said he found out by accident. He left his radio on and he didn't lose a chicken that night."