Hundreds of people gathered in Marlow Lock to celebrate one of England’s most celebrated traditions, as this year’s Swan Upping took place in the town on July 16.

The annual event, which began in the 12th century, saw Her Majesty the Queen’s swan markers locate all the cygnets on the Thames.

The swan markers picked up the cygnets, weighed them and tagged them before putting the birds back in the river.

David Barber, the Queen’s head swan upper told the Bucks Free Press: “The Swan Upping has gone very well, far better than we thought it would.

“It takes a bit of time to train someone how to pick up the cygnets because you need to know how to handle them like holding the wings and that isn’t an easy job.

“Picking up the cygnets are fine but it’s the adult birds with their large wings which can cause a problem, as they can get up to around two and a half metres wide and their bodies can weigh up to 15 kilos, so they can be hard to handle.

“But I’ve done this for 26 years, so I’m pretty used to it.

“It’s an art to deal with the swans.”

The day began at Eton Bridge with the boats departing at 8.30am, before heading towards Boveney Lock, Boulters Lock and Cookham Bridge with the day concluding at Marlow Lock.

Prior to finishing at the town’s lock, the boats went through Wooburn Green, Bourne End and Cookham Dean.

But despite many cygnets being tagged and gently being released back into the river, Mr Barber revealed that many cygnets have died this year after being attacked by other animals.

“We have had a lot of problems recently with an increase in mink that’s been killing the cygnets along with dog attacks earlier in the season when they are nesting.

“People take their dogs off the leads with some them attacking the swans when they are sitting on their nests.”

Marlow’s mayor Richard Scott, who also attended the Swan Upping, said: “This year’s Swan Upping went very well which was helped by the weather.

“It was a great spectacle with all the bridges, the different boats and the people by the river watching on.

“It was a great day.”