I AM writing with reference to the article concerning Bewdley anglers and the swan population (More swans at risk on Severn, Shuttle/Times & News, December 14).

This reminds me of a sensationalist report given over the national network some years ago when anglers were accused of killing 3,000 swans each week by using lead shot.

Fortunately this report was investigated by an independent body, which discovered that two swans, assumed poisoned by lead, were discovered some miles apart and a mathematical genius had divided the country into a number of square miles and multiplied the same by two and arrived at not two swans, but 3,000 which then received national notoriety.

When the truth was provided by the individual investigating committee, no retraction was made.

It is hoped that we are not receiving similar condemnation of anglers once again, particularly as it seems that those referred to in your report are not aware of the fact that the use of lead in angling has been banned in this country for nearly 10 years.

I was born in Bewdley and have lived most of my life there and while generally the swan population was small, it has now grown to the point where at one stage this year I witnessed 100 swans at one count.

I hope that we shall not be confronted with local headlines such as Bewdley - Death Alley for Swans' or Swans landing on the River Severn at Bewdley never leave alive'.

As an angler and a conservationist you may recognise me on the riverbanks, particular in the summer months, as I am the guy with a swan tattoo on his arm.

J TIMNEY Gainsborough Mews Kidderminster