DOG owners have been warned to keep pets under control at a park after chicks were forced to flee their nest in terror.

Animals were spotted swimming in the pond at Victoria Park despite a number of swans, ducks and coot chicks calling the area home.

Over the weekend, a tan Labrador-style dog was spotted in the pond prompting birds living nearby to fly away in fear of the animal.

Members of Friends of Victoria Park said they were "disgusted" to see the dog charging through the pond whilst off leash and called for owners to ensure their dogs were better under control.

One wrote: "The parents and the chicks scattered off the nest in terror. There was no dog owner in sight."

Another added: "There are coot chicks at that pond. This is a disgrace."

While a third said: "Not difficult to stop if dogs are on a leash and under owner's control.

"Yes, the ducks could fly off, but what about the other park users? Not everyone knows how to respond to an over-friendly or aggressive dog."

Park lovers have already been left concerned regarding the population of swans within the pond area after one animal was found dead near the park bridge earlier this year.

The bird was the 20th to have been found dead in city parks this year following a suspected bird flu outbreak.

As previously reported, a swan had to be put down in 2021 after it was attacked by a dog in the park.

The bird was discovered with a broken wing and large wounds to its neck which were "too severe" for it to be rescued.

The death sparked outrage among parkgoers and prompted calls to ensure all pets are kept on leads while near the pond area.

An SSPCA spokesperson said: “We would like to remind dog walkers in the area to keep their dogs on a lead around waterfowl, especially at this time of year when they may be nesting.

“If anyone spots an injured or distressed animal they can call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”