The owner of a Berkshire wildlife charity has said she is "saddened" after a cygnet was killed by a team of rowers during an incident on the Thames.

On Sunday, June 9, a member of the public alerted authorises after they witnessed the bird being struck by the blades of two women’s eight rowing boats.

The rowers, who were from Marlow Rowing Club, were racing down the Thames past Cookham Sailing Club at about 7:50am when they hit the cygnet.

Wendy Hermon from Swan Support charity said: “Unfortunately although there was little we could do for the cygnet, we went out to recover them and check the family.

“In our opinion this could have been avoided - each of the boats had a cox and the coach was on a safety boat! The family were spotted but the boats did not slow. We have been in contact with Marlow Rowing Club.”

After the cygnet was hit, witnesses saw the bird being moved downstream by it’s family.

The Rowing club, which is based on the Thames near Bisham has been contacted for a comment.

This incident comes as the charity has reported a shocking increase in swan and bird attacks across the Thames and in local waterways.

Following the fatal hit in Cookham, the charity was called to Penton Hook around 1 pm where a speeding boat went over and killed an adult swan

Hermon added: “Both incidents have been reported to the respective police forces. Any witnesses to either incident please do call us on 07968 868172.

“Rivers and waterways are there to be enjoyed by all but we please ask that the locals are respected! Those with young cannot move out the way quick enough and many of the adults are now going into the moult so cannot fly or manoeuvre out the way.”

Swan Support, is a swan and wildlife rehabilitation centre rescuing, treating and caring for sick and injured swans within the Thames Valley and surrounding areas.

Their team of dedicated rescuers and volunteers willingly give their time to help rescue swans and cygnets and take care of them at their headquarters in Datchett.