Folk fearful for the future of a family of swans living on a South Tyneside pond have joined forces in a bid to protect them.
People living in Hebburn have been monitoring the swan and the cygnets ever since they were spotted sitting on grass on the side of the road in Mill Lane, Hebburn.
The birds, which live on the pond behind the Cock Crow Inn, have also been seen crossing the road and in the nearby street as they search for food.
Now, residents have come together in a bid to protect them, provide them with food and hope to one day be able to restore their natural habitat.
A facebook group has been set up - Friends of Hebburn and Wardley Quarry - where people can keep track of the swans’ progress through videos, pictures and status updates as well as offer their services to help them.
Deborah Bowman, one of the organisers of the group, said: “Everyone has been brilliant since we launched it and first started talking about what we could do to protect the swans.
we would love these ones to reach maturityDeborah Bowman
“Every year we have these lovely beautiful swans and their cygnets, and we would love these ones to reach maturity.
“In the past we have had kids kicking them to death which is just awful and with depleted fish stocks in the pond they are now coming out and crossing busy roads in the search for food.
“It not only causes a danger to themselves but to road users.
“We have already had instances of people letting their dogs off near to them.
“There are around 350 people who have joined the Facebook group and people are letting us know when they are going down to feed them.
“All we want to do is to reduce the risk to them.”
The group are now in the process of trying to find out who owns the land in the hope they will be able to carry out work to improve the area.
Ideas include replenishing plant life, the installation of a gate, litter picks and general tidy up of the area.
Deborah, who started the group alongside Glynis Ramsay and Shirley Gardiner, said: “We have had response from people from Washington and Gateshead as well as Hebburn, who are coming down to help us.
“But this is not just for this year, this is something we have to keep doing year after year.”
The group are in the process of planning fundraising events to raise money for a new gate and equipment to clean up the area once permission has been granted.