UPTON residents have called for more to be done to protect birds nesting in the area.

In recent times, nests of curlews, a species of wading bird which lives in wet ground such as ditches, have been disturbed by people walking their dogs on the Ham Nature Reserve in Upton-upon-Severn.

Signs have recently been placed telling dog owners to keep their pets on leads while walking in the area to avoid disturbing ground-nesting birds such as curlews, skylarks and redshanks but it appears some dog walkers are ignoring them, driving the birds away.

Curlews are protected by law and the Ham is a designated site of special scientific interest.

In a Facebook post, a resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It is great that the signs are back up however it seems no one is paying any attention.

“This past week I have seen an increased amount of walkers with and without dogs walking along the ditch and disturbing several curlews.

“Whether this increase of people is due to the glorious weather we have been having, I do not know. I am currently walking the ham at this minute whilst I am writing this message and have just infuriatingly witnessed a woman walk with her dog off lead right along the ditch, her dog miles in front purposely chasing the birds. I do not know what else we can do to try and protect the nesting birds.

"There are plenty of signs, and certainly one by each used entrance, so there should be no excuse for people - they seem to just be totally ignorant.

“I personally do not feel confident enough, being a young woman being brought up to avoid confrontation, to go over and confront people asking them to stick to the paths."

Commenting on the post, Grahame Bunn said: "Just come back from a walk on the Ham doing the triangle and there were two separate dog walkers, both with dogs off the lead, walking where they shouldn’t be.

"Such a shame people can’t be more respectful of our surroundings."