The birds were in danger of becoming trapped on the water as temperatures plunged to -10C.
But the swans overcame the elements and literally cut a route through a series of frozen lagoons at the Attenborough Nature Reserve.
The video was shot by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust on Thursday lunchtime.
A spokesperson said: “We have a series of lagoons all over the reserve and hundreds of swans.
“This group managed to stay together and avoided being trapped by literally smashing through the ice.”
The clip shows one swan leading the group and using its neck as a battering ram.
The swans then swapped roles as they plotted a clear route through the ice.