Notices have been put up around Beddington Park following reports of several birds having been shot dead or injured during brutal incidents over recent weeks.

Two little egrets have been found dead along Wandle Bank, while other dead birds have included a grey heron, a coot and a green woodpecker.

Peter Alfrey, a member of the Beddington Farmlands nature reserve, said a Canada goose was recently taken into care from Beddington Park before a “large ball bearing was removed”.

And a veterinary examination of one of the dead little egrets also confirmed the likely cause of death was caused by “blunt force trauma”, according to him.

Mr Alfrey added: “There have been reports from the cluster area of men – or boys – with catapults, and one witness described a man wading in the river to retrieve and hide one of the little egrets.

“This cluster of incidents has been reported to the police and RSPB [Royal Society for the Protection of Birds].

“The public are requested to look out for the culprits of these illegal killings and report any suspicious activity to the police.”

While Scotland Yard has been approached for comment, a Sutton Council spokesman said the matter has been brought to the attention of the Beddington and Wallington Local Committee.

He added: “Together with one of the local wildlife rescue groups, we have put several notice boards in Beddington Park highlighting the issue.”