AN ARCTIC swan called Indri has visited a famous Gloucestershire nature reserve for the third time after arriving as a cygnet in 2016.

The Bewick's swan is the smallest of its kind seen in Britain - they make the trip all the way from Siberia each winter.

Steve Heaven, swan research assistant at Slimbridge, said: "We’re proud to have Indri and the rest of the Bewick’s here, we’ve seen some of the birds return to us each winter for 29 years.

"Swan Lake at Slimbridge is perfectly maintained so that the swans have a place to recover from their long and arduous trip - the wardens feed them three times a day and ensure that they are kept safe over the winter. "

Upon Indri's arrival, experts at Slimbridge were able to identify her by studying the unique pattern on her brill.

It is likely that she travelled some 4000km to the UK to escape the arctic winter in Russia.

Unfortunately, recent studies show that since 1995 the number of Bewick's swans making the migration from the Arctic to Northern Europe has plummeted by nearly 50 per cent - from 29,000 to 18,000 in 2010.

"We hope that by giving visitors the chance to see Bewick’s swans close-up and in large numbers from our observatory we are inspiring them to help protect this species for future generations," added Steve.