Police patrols are being stepped up at a fishing lake where swans and other birds have been shot and killed.

During the past 12 months the fishing lake at Ulnes Water Wetlands, in Leyland, have been subject to criminal damage, fly tipping, illegal fishing and wildlife crime, as well as the bird cruelty.

Lancashire Constabulary’s wildlife crime officer Mark Thomas has been working with the land agents Worden Estates to deal with the problems.

Extra police patrols now take place and the Prince Albert Fishing Club has agreed to assist with combating crime at the lake.

Members report suspicious activity to police, have put up signs to warn against committing crime and will be developing the land with fences and other security measures being put in place.

Mr Thomas said: “This wildlife haven is a peaceful place to fish, but it’s being ruined by people carrying out vandalism, chopping down trees, starting fires and harming, and sometimes killing, the birds.

“It is important that fishing club members who want to enjoy the site can go down there without having their view spoiled by rubbish and damaged property . We are working with the land agents, the fishing club and those who legitimately visit the lake to ensure that this happens.”