It was very sad to read that one of the swan families, flagged up as in danger from vandals by Trevor Weeks, has suffered the worst in an attack (The Argus, June 4).

Seven cygnets were killed by thugs and the parent swans have disappeared from the River Ouse in Lewes. Sadly, this is something which will be happening all over Britain at this time of year - the swans' nesting season.

Swans on rivers and lakes present us with a picture of peace and tranquillity yet their lives are very vulnerable and so many are targets of stone-throwing, air rifle attacks and others become entangled in fishing lines.

Swans have to take a long run before being able to take off in flight, making them a sitting target for attacks.

They are at their most vulnerable when nesting, due to the long time their eggs take to hatch and the slow process of rearing their young.

Like all wildlife, they protect their young when attacked and many parent swans alongside their cygnets are injured and even die in this way.

We need to see a section of the Wildlife Act introduced to specifically protect these wildfowl. The new law should carry a severe penalty for any swan attack.

If you feel as I do, lobby your MP. We all want to continue to enjoy the sight of proud swan parents followed by a train of cygnets.

The good news is swans are doing well nationwide, regardless of the problems, and numbers are not in decline.

-Gloria Wheatcroft, Hove