A dog owner has been ordered to pay £315 after allowing five dogs to chase ducks in Richmond Park.

Christian Ferree, 39, was convicted at Richmond Magistrates’ Court on August 30, after his dogs chased waterfowl as they ran by the water at Pen Ponds on May 1.

No waterfowl were injured during the incident but there were signs around the ponds which state dogs must be kept on their leads.

Simon Richards, Richmond Park manager, said the conviction of Mr Ferree had been welcomed by the park team.

He said: “It reinforces that the breach of Royal Parks’ regulations is a serious matter. The park regulations are in place to protect the land, wildlife and the enjoyment of more than 2m visitors a year. It is a delicate balance which the Royal Parks manages very carefully.”

Police Sergeant Michael Boulton, part of the police’s safer parks team, warned that breaking park regulations was dangerous.

He said: “It is important to observe warning signs. This conviction makes clear to visitors who may not be familiar with the park that a breach of park regulations is a criminal offence, endangering wildlife and public safety. Each year we see several incidents of irresponsible dog ownership.

“This latest conviction demonstrates our commitment to dealing with this unnecessary problem.”