Royal Swan Upping

SWAN UPPING 2014 - Monday 14th July to Friday 18th July

Swan Upping plays an important role in the conservation of the mute swan and involves The Queen’s Swan Warden collecting data, assessing the health of young cygnets and examining them for any injuries. Cygnets are extremely vulnerable at this early stage in their development and Swan Upping affords an opportunity to help both adults and cygnets that might otherwise go untreated.

The Royal Swan Uppers, who wear the scarlet uniform of Her Majesty The Queen, travel in traditional rowing skiffs together with Swan Uppers from the Vintners’ and Dyers’ livery companies. Many schools are invited to meet the Swan Uppers on their journey up river. The children involved may have the opportunity to view cygnets at close quarters and ask questions about swans, the boats used and The Queen’s ownership of mute swans. The participation of school children is a positive element of Swan Upping and their enthusiasm for wildlife is always to be encouraged.

The Queen’s Swan Marker, David Barber is available for a limited number of illustrated talks to schools and charitable organisations on the subject of Swan Upping. To find out more, please email

The office of The Queen's Swan Marker

For further information please view the Swan Upping educational brochure or visit

Illustrated Lecture at the River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames
Educational Project Launch

The Queen’s Swan Marker, David Barber, launched the River & Rowing Museum’s Swan Upping educational project at Hampton Court Palace.

The aim of the project was to produce loan boxes containing Swan Upping related artefacts that may be used by schools to assist with teaching children about Swan Upping, the biology of mute swans and the habitat they need to support them.

Speaking at the launch Mr. Barber stated,‘I am delighted to have been involved with this educational project. I have always placed great emphasis on working with schools and am particularly pleased with the potential of the loan box scheme to inspire children to discover the history of Swan Upping, the conservation of rivers and the welfare of swans. The subject areas covered by these learning materials include science, history, geography and conservation and I believe the children will really enjoy learning in this way. This excellent scheme offers an opportunity to teach so many more children about our work.’

David Barber with Children from Hampton Court