The 2020 Swan Upping has been cancelled due to coronavirus.

The annual event, which has been a British tradition since the 12th century, was due to take place on July 14 but on May 19, Marlow Town Council confirmed it had been called off.

The Queen’s Swan Marker, David Barber MVO, said of the cancellation: "Swan Upping, the annual census of the swan population on the River Thames, will not go ahead this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Although not unexpected, it is, of course, disappointing that members of the public and local schoolchildren will not be able to enjoy Swan Upping this year."

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"It is always a great opportunity for the young people who attend to learn about mute swans, and see first-hand the health checks we carry out on every single family of swans along the river."

Photos from Swan Upping 2019 - thousands of people came out to see the swans

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Swan Upping sees Mr Barber and his team travel up and down the Thames marking all the cygnets which have been born at the start of the year.

They weigh them and tagged them before putting the birds back in the river.

Marlow Town Council’s Clerk Hilary Martin added: “Unfortunately this year’s Swan Upping has been cancelled.

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“It is just impossible to maintain social distancing as with the boats that they use so they have taken the very sad step in cancelling it and it was formally announced to us yesterday (May 18).

“The health of those around us is very important and there have been lots of local events that have never been cancelled but have to be cancelled because of what’s going on.

“So it’s important to follow the Government’s guidelines.”

Swan Upping was due to take place on July 13 to July 17 between Sunbury-on-Thames and Abingdon in Oxfordshire.