Yobs who threw stones at swans at a nature reserve have been slammed by the community.

Youths were seen hurling stones towards the protected birds at Siddick Ponds Nature Reserve, near Workington on Tuesday evening.

It is the second swan attack in the area after Barney, a 17-year-old mute swan at Harrington Reservoir, died after suffering a deep wound in his side caused by a dog bite earlier this month.

Raegan Blacker, Workington Nature Partnership Officer, said the latest incident had been witnessed by two members of the public and hopes the culprits can be found.

She said: “I was contacted by two witnesses to this and have received photos which will be sent to the wildlife officer to be logged and to schools in the hope of identifying and pulling up the culprits.

“I’m grateful to anyone who keeps an eye out for such behaviour on our nature reserves.

“If anyone witnesses such crimes please contact the police immediately as they really need to be caught in the act.”

Daniel Horsley, who represents Seaton and Northside on Allerdale Council, said the behaviour was “absolutely shocking”.

He said: “There’s no need whatsoever. What are they thinking?

“With the dog attack last week as well on the swan. It’s completely avoidable.

“What are the kids thinking? Unfortunately, unless they are seen doing it and the police reprimand them or they speak to the parents, they’ll get away with it.

“Maybe if something gets put out through the schools. I’ll back Raegan 100 per cent on that.

“It’s the only way to do it. Identify who’s doing it and give them a stern enough warning that this won’t be tolerated.

“I hope we don’t see a repeat of this.”

A spokesman for Cumbria Police said: “Police Community Officers along with our wildlife officer are investigating an incident of anti-social behaviour that occurred on the May 11 at 7.30pm at Dunmail Park.

“It was reported that a group of youths were throwing stones at swans.

“Anyone with information, or who witnessed the incident, is encouraged to contact police on 101, quoting incident number 187 of May 11.

Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers, completely anonymously, on 0800 555 111.