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 post on the Upton Parish Noticeboard Facebook page, a resident 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."