Jenny Crates, Freshwater: 

Re the Freshwater Causeway swans, it was really encouraging to read the letter in the County Press from a Freshwater resident, and I wholeheartedly back their request to the council for adequate signage to warn dog owners to keep their dogs on leads for the first section of the Causeway path. 

It was there that an out-of-control dog launched a frenzied attack on the swans on Good Friday, resulting in the death of two much-loved swans, and the departure of all the others (between 36 and 43 for a long time).

Three swans came back initially - one the mate of the second swan to die, grieving for the female swan and searching for her, and an established pair. 

Gradually over the weeks swans began slowly to return, and we now have a colony of 15 plus two parent swans and their two remaining cygnets, who are growing well (and the strange female greylag goose who appears to think she is a swan and chases all the swans around!). 

Everyone is so happy to see swans on the river again, and it's good to see parents and grandparents taking their youngsters to the river on a regular basis.

During the avian flu epidemic, our swans were protected by regular feeding supplementing their natural food which encouraged them to stay in a safe environment. 

It has been wonderful to see such a large and healthy colony - someone recently said it was the Island's Abbotsbury where there are hundreds of swans.

At the recent swan upping on the Thames, a regular count which takes place of the King's swans, there was great concern at the very low numbers of cygnets, due to shootings, pollution and dog attacks. We should do all we can to protect these fabulous birds.

Finally, most dog owners at the river are considerate and careful with their dogs, keeping them on leads and under control for the first stretch of the path to Yarmouth, until they are past the concrete plinth and bench a few hundred metres along the path, on the river side. 

Over the years we came in for a certain measure of verbal abuse from a few dog owners, when we asked them to keep their dogs from chasing the swans, but on the whole people were great, and most of the local dogs are my friends. 

Thank you to everyone who cares about what happens at the river. It's a beautiful God-given place of tranquillity and peace, loved by everyone who goes there.