Litter-pickers collected 96 "tear-off strips" from energy gel wrappers discarded by cyclists during this year’s Ride London event in Richmond Park.

About 25,000 participants cycled the 100-mile route through the Surrey Hills, Richmond Park and central London on August 2.

The Friends of Richmond Park found the strips, along with discarded bicycle inner tubes and gel packs, after the event and group chairman Ron Crompton said he fears deer could become seriously ill if they eat litter that was missed.

He said: "These strips are small enough to get hidden in the grass and the deer eat the grass and then ingest the rubbish.

"Deer are like goats and just eat anything, and their stomachs can get plugged by litter like this.

"It is a problem not just after Ride London because you get so many cyclists in the park that you find them every day."

Richmond Park has 129 bins and deer deaths caused by the consumption of litter are very rare, according to the park’s assistant manager, Adam Curtis.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

These items were found inside the stomach of a Richmond Park deer some years ago

Autopsies are rarely carried out as the cause of death is usually clear, but one autopsy in the past revealed a deer had eaten a rope and a number of plastic carrier bags.

Mr Curtis said: "Their natural instinct is to hunt for food and any rubbish, including plastic bags or leftover picnic waste.

"If found they will not only eat the contents but the plastic too, which is detrimental to their health."

He said the park’s staff works closely with all event organisers to ensure adequate cleansing plans are in place post-event.

Mr Curtis said: "Immediately post race, The Royal Parks and Ride London cleared the road of all litter and any smaller pieces which were later discovered were also cleared off the grass verges.

"We ask all park users, whether walking their dog, picnicking or taking part in an event to be considerate of each other and the environment and not to drop litter."