An ‘upping’ of Oxfordshire’s swan population finished in Abingdon yesterday.

The annual census has been carried out each year since the 12th century, when the Royal Family claimed ownership of the birds – then considered a delicacy at banquets.

In the swan upping ceremony, the Queen’s swan marker and crew, use six rowing skiffs in a five-day journey up-river, stopping to weigh cygnets and give swans health checks.