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Wildlife around Caerphilly Castle moat injured by discarded fishing line

Published in News at 13:03, Friday April 12th, 2013. Last updated at 13:44, Friday April 12th, 2013


Geese are among the wildlife being harmed at Caerphilly Castle due to discarded fishing line

Geese are among the wildlife being harmed at Caerphilly Castle due to discarded fishing line - Picture by Graham Thorne

Swans, cygnets, geese and ducks at Caerphilly Castle moat are being injured because of discarded fishing line.

Over the last 12 months, Swan Rescue South Wales has been called out to numerous incidents where fishing lines have been swallowed or caught in the beaks, or wrapped around the legs or wings of the local wildlife.

Cadw, the public body which looks after the castle, is asking visitors and the local community to act responsibly and look after the local wildlife.

Tony Payne, head of custodian at Caerphilly Castle, said: “We are urging all anglers to purchase an angling permit through the Caerphilly Angling Association at Tony’s Tackle Shop in Castle Street, opposite the castle, and to ensure they dispose of their fishing line, hooks and weights in a responsible way.

“We’re asking everyone to help us look after this great historic landmark, the habitat around it and the wildlife which has made its home there.”

Peter Martin, from Swan Rescue South Wales, added: “Rescues of swans, geese and ducks in and around Caerphilly Castle are never simple or straightforward because of the steep and often slippery banks.

“Additionally, much of the shoreline is inaccessible. Failure to catch a distressed bird results inevitably in impaired mobility or a drastically reduced ability to feed. The effects of this are in any case traumatic, but in the worst situation leads to a lingering death.

“It is therefore essential that the correct angling practices are followed, to ensure the safety of the wildlife.”

John Phillips, secretary for the Caerphilly Angling Association backed the calls for responsible fishing.

He said: “We encourage our members to act responsibly, and often participate in activities such as litter picking to ensure this spectacular site is kept at its best for visitors and for wildlife.

“We have written to more than 200 of our members to advise them of the problem, as we realise what a special site this is.

“However although most people do follow regulated angling practices, unfortunately we have very little control over the small minority who act irresponsibly. We cannot control those who purchase day permits, or those who are fishing illegally – who are probably responsible for causing the problems.

“We urge all anglers to follow the regulations and expected standards, to ensure we can all enjoy this magnificent castle.”


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  • Clive

    Swans? A slight error I think as I cannot recall seeing any on the moat for many years. Does anyone know why they left? Firework displays or the arrival of the Canadian geese perhaps?

  • Trefor Bond

    There are a pair of swans on the moat and have been there for a number of years now.

    Last year they had four young which were all killed or maimed by drunks and yobs who spend long summer evenings drinking in the park around the Castle.

    There was also a another swan who had joined this pair last year, she, was fortunate enough to have her neck broken by the people who use the park, she was removed carers and taken away and has not been seen since.

    This year, the pair living in the moat have laid eggs against the Castle wall, out of the way of the public, they are currently, continuously caring for those eggs, hopefully, more swans will be born this years to this pair, but, our friends who use the park as a large beer garden during the summer months will probably take perverse pleasure in killing them for amusement. I have also personally witnessed, and reported it to both the Council and the police, who both have responsibility for public disorder in and around the park, beer bottles being thrown from the beer garden of the Court House Pub by customers, these are aimed at young chicks and other birds which live on this moat.

  • Cllr. Richard Willia

    Clive – There were a pair of Swans resident at the castle moat until recently. I heard that one had been deliberately killed, last year, but I am unable to verify this. The Canada geese did not seem to perturb them.

  • clive

    Not me, making the previous comment. But I did wonder, before seeing the comment, whether there was a PR man at work. Now I know. I'd blame these noisy Canadians, if anyone.

  • john

    eveyone who cares for the swans,geese,ducks and even the gulls,around the castle moat and park should say a big thank you to the time and effort and the cost of treatment,by caerphilly bird rescue,no one has done more,it has taken over 4 years ,birds badly injured with legs severed,spools of line on the banks,eveytime you see a sweetcorn tin left on the bank,which is still happening today,these fishermen also cast into the greese with spinners,iv seen this myself,and also last but not least,some wanted all the greese culled,so now lets hope it will improve,i will report all injured birds to cadw,and also to this paper,also if you see discared fishing line,hooks tins please bin it.

  • john

    im upset,today ,awhite goose nesting by the bridge on cresent road had its nest destroyed eggs taken,looks like its injuried,because feathers all around the bank,the old white goose,which has been on the bridge for years found dead in the water on thursday,ithen go into the park,bottles,food containers rubbish all around the picnic tables,where are the police,this as been going on for years,why are we paying rates for a inept police dept,does anyone know when the next public police meeting is being held,so this matter can be addressed,and what feeble answers they have.john

  • The bird man

    If anyone has any issues or problems or want to report anything, please contact Caerphilly Bird Rescue on 02920 865690.

    Thank you for the support,