A CHARITY fears that wildlife and livestock is in "considerable danger" and nature reserves may be forced to close, as a result of uncontrolled dogs.

This follows recent reports that seven dogs were running among pregnant sheep in Coombe Bissett Down nature reserve.

During the current Covid-19 lockdown residents are turning to nature for both health and solace, and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is urging dog owners to keep canines on leads during their time spent in reserves.

The trust has revealed that wildlife and livestock in reserves across the county are being disturbed and chased by dogs on a daily basis.

If the problem continues, sites may be forced to close.

Describing creatures as "in considerable danger", Wiltshire Wildlife Trust said: "Visitors to nature reserve sites are asked to always observe the clearly visible signs, telling them that dogs must be kept on leads and kept out of certain sensitive areas entirely.

"The trust has had wildlife and livestock killed and injured by dogs previously, and the stress to them alone can cause considerable harm.

"[Last week] Butterfly Conservation received the terrible news that 13 sheep had been killed at one of their sites, a tragedy that no conservation group wishes for its staff and volunteers to have to discover.

"Sadly, the trust may have to close sites to protect livestock if the problem persists."