I read with sadness Jenny Crates's gentle letter (CP 10-07-20) asking dog-owners to put their pets on a lead while passing The Causeway, after one dog caused panic amid the flock of swans she regulary feeds.

The owner does not represent the vast majority of we who are on the whole responsible, considerate lovers of domestic and wild animals.

Someone was petty enough to vandalise the polite sign at the feeding station (thank you to whoever then cleaned it), but has now spitefully returned with heavy duty tools and removed the sign completely.

Unfortunately a very small minority think “my dog wouldn’t hurt them”.

Well, there have been several occasions when dogs have injured the swans, and just how can a swan tell whether (what to them is) a predator wants to play or hunt when it hurtles towards them?

Or “my dog has the right to run wherever it wants” — no it doesn’t if it then distresses other animals.

We have a responsibility to a) keep our dogs under control, and b) not allow them to distress or cause injury to other creatures.

Jenny and her husband Roger spend much time and effort caring for the swans – there are cygnets which cannot yet fly, and young and old have found a safe place at The Causeway to feed, be fed and raise their young, and in so doing bring much joy to very many locals and tourists alike.

During lockdown the swans provided a much-needed focus for isolated people taking their daily exercise.

We should applaud Jenny and Roger for demonstrating how to live in harmony and care for the environment, something which Freshwater is or was famed for.

Shame on that person, you know who you are — let’s hope others can restore our reputation as a kind, caring community. And I won’t publish my name because of the ill-feeling someone has.