Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Thursday, 27 May 2010 09:37 UK

Cygnets rescued from thick mud on Wilton riverbank

Cygnets with parents
The cygnets were reunited with their parents after being washed off

Four cygnets had to be rescued when they became trapped in thick mud on a riverbank near Salisbury.

People living near Saddlers Mead in the town of Wilton alerted the fire service on Tuesday with concerns the swans were at risk of dying.

A water rescue team was called and firefighters took the cygnets, which were a few days old, to safety.

They also dug out part of the bank near the nest to make it safer for the swans to come in and out of the water.

The RSPCA also attended to help look after the parent swans.

Richard Humphrey, from the fire service, said: "Local residents provided us with the materials we needed to make the bank safer.

"Once we got the babies washed off, dried and warmed up, we were able to reintroduce them to the water and reunite them with their parents - hopefully they will now thrive."

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