A historic swan counting tradition dating back hundreds of years will return to the Marlow stretch of the River Thames next week.

The Queen’s royal officials will take to the waters to do a survey of the town’s beloved feathered friends during the annual Royal Swan Upping on Tuesday, July 17.

They will “up” cygnets out of the water to weigh them and assess them for illness or injury.

Schoolchildren are also invited to meet the swan uppers and given a chance to see the cygnets up close, and ask questions about swans, the boats used and the Queen’s ownership of mute swans.

According to the Swan Upping website, the event plays an important role in the conservation of the mute swan and allows both adults and cygnets, that could otherwise go untreated, to be helped.