Shock after cygnet shot

Cygnets and Swans on Langold Lake  (w121010-3a)  Picture by Mark Fear
Cygnets and Swans on Langold Lake (w121010-3a) Picture by Mark Fear

SECURITY has been stepped up at Langold Country Park after a suspected gun attack on a baby swan.

The cygnet was found dead in the lake, around the same time as a man was seen leaving the park with an air rifle.

Police are investigating the incident, and looking to speak to the owner of a car which was seen at the park at the time.

Andy Burridge, from Andy’s Cafe at Langold Country Park, confronted a male who was carrying the air weapon before he got into the vehicle.

Andy opened the park at about 8am and asked the man what he had been doing. He said he’d been ‘night fishing’.

Andy took the vehicle registration number and reported it to the police.

The next day a dead cygnet was found dead by a park visitor. It was floating in the lake, prompting speculation that it had been shot.

One Guardian reader, who wants to remain anonymous, has pleaded with the authorities not to ignore the issue.

“People carry air rifles for one purpose only and that is to kill,” she said.

“Sit back and do nothing and, at some time in the future, someone’s pet or even worse a child could stray into the line of fire from one of these weapons.”

“There is no deterrent whatsoever and the thugs are free to pursue their targets, safe in the knowledge that they are ‘untouchable’,” she said.

“The cygnet’s death has upset many visitors, including elderly people and also children who love feeding the birds.”

Insp Steve Cartwright from Notts Police said the cause of death could not be certain because the swan was not retrieved from the water.

He added: “An officer is continuing enquiries with the owner of the vehicle which was seen in the area.”

It is an offence to have an air weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, in a public place, and to fire it on any land without permission from the land owner.

Bassetlaw District Council said it was ‘extremely concerned and disturbed’ at the suggestion that a cygnet could have been killed in this way.

“We have stepped up our patrols of our park rangers and are working with the Friends of Langold Country Park,” said a spokesman.

Members of the public should be vigilant and report suspicious activity to the police.