SWAN'S eggs have been stolen from a nest in Stratford Park, Stroud.

They were taken from a nest in the lake, and it is thought that they went missing on Monday, May 6.

A Stroud District Council spokesman said: “Despite our efforts to make it more difficult to reach the nest, we have been saddened to discover that swan eggs have disappeared.

“As part of our improvements to the Stratford Park lake last year, we increased the depth of the water between the bank and the nest, in response to previous thefts.

“There is no evidence of broken shells which would have pointed to a predator taking the eggs, so it appears that someone has taken them.

“We keep a close eye on the swans and we know members of the public do too – anyone who sees suspicious activity in this area should inform us or police."

One concerned member of the public, who does not wish to be named, spotted the missing eggs and said that a family of ducks had tried to comfort the mother swan.

She said: "A family of ducks, with ducklings had gathered round the mother swan, showing their compassion for her."

SDC's spokesman added: “Swans, their nest and eggs are like most wild birds, protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

"It is therefore a criminal offence to take or destroy the eggs or nest of swans. Penalties that can be imposed for such criminal offences in respect of a single bird, nest or egg contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 is an unlimited fine, up to six months imprisonment or both.”

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police said: "Our rural and wildlife crime officers regularly work with other agencies to protect wildlife and take action where crimes are reported.

"We urge anyone who has information about such crimes to contact police with as much evidence as they can gather to enable us to conduct a meaningful investigation and bring those responsible to justice."