A seagull chick had to be rescued by firefighters after becoming entangled in fishing gear left in a lake.

The stricken bird was spotted “struggling for hours” by a resident in Friars Park, Shoebury, who branded the lake a “death trap for wildlife” because of fishing lines and netting which are dumped in the water.

According to Naomi Knight, the bird was entangled in branches because of fishing lines and netting on Saturday.

Fishing has been permitted in the lake since 2011 but Meg Davidson, councillor responsible for the environment, has urged anyone fishing in the lake to behave responsibly.

Ms Knight said: “No one was interested in helping as they carried on carelessly fishing. I think the lake is dirty with dangerous debris, and this is why the fire brigade wouldn’t let me wade in myself to rescue the poor thing.

“These poor birds, and their babies, are dicing with death. Many have no doubt been harmed or killed since fishing was permitted, so why on earth this was selfishly permitted is beyond me.”

Ms Knight said “heroic” firefighters launched a boat to reach the stricken bird, removing a fishing line and an “embedded hook”.

In addition to the lake, the park is equipped with an outdoor gym area, a small children’s play area and woodland and is popular with residents and dog walkers.

Ms Davidson said: “Friars Park is an important public park for residents of Shoebury, boasting a fishing lake and a second lake that attracts wildlife.

“Since 2011, fishing has been permitted here, but anglers must take responsibility by collecting discarded fishing line and tackle as well as any other litter.

“Such negligence can endanger wildlife and detract from the park’s beauty. If everyone plays their part and tidies up after themselves, it will safeguard fish, wildlife, and the reputation of fishing.”

The bird is believed to have been taken to South Essex Wildlife Hospital.

The hospital was approached for a comment.