BBC News is reporting two arrests over the deaths of 80 birds and a dog at Alexandra Lake. At the time of writing, the BBC is saying that the two men, aged 35 and 27, were arrested in the Forest Gate area at 8am on suspicion of breaching pesticide control regulations, and were taken for questioning at an east London police station. Meanwhile Wanstead birder Jonathan Lethbridge today reported the death of another bird, a coot, which he has pictured on his blog.
Police told the Wanstead Guardian:
“Despite today’s arrests, analysis of samples taken from the scene last week has not yet been completed by the Veterinary Laboratory Agency (VLA) and it is too early to confirm the animals’ cause of death. All of them died in the area around Alexandra Lake on Wanstead Flats, Aldersbrook Road, or after spending time in the vicinity soon before their deaths. Officers are working with counterparts from Natural England and City of London Forest Keepers in an attempt to establish the circumstances of the deaths. The land around the lake remains cordoned off and dog walkers are requested to keep their pets on a lead in the surrounding area for their own protection.”
As a teaser it’s pretty effective. So what is opening soon in the former Devon Interiors shop in Hermon Hill? The wishlist starts here….
Jonathan Lethbridge’s Monday update at Wanstead Birder:
“Wanstead is still grabbing the news for all the wrong reasons. My patch has become a crime scene, and is also described as an East London Beauty Spot. Hmmmm… No more birds have died since Saturday. That unfortunate Pigeon on the ITN broadcast was the last one.”
Reports also at London Tonight (in video), BBC London news (text) and the London Evening Standard (text).
Jonathan Lethbridge, of the Wanstead Birder blog, today reports that more birds have been found dead on Wanstead Flats after a suspected poisoning. He writes that he now has more accurate numbers of deaths – 79, rather than the 100 he thought yesterday.
[T]hat is still an awful lot. The majority are Crows… I spotted another dead bird in the water… and then commented to the others present that one of the Pigeons didn’t look at all well. This proved to be correct, and within a few minutes it was flapping its last on the bank, whilst a group of male Pigeons thoughtfully mated with it as it lay there helpless. The [ITN] film crew were there to capture its final moments… Actually seeing a Pigeon croaking is probably very pleasing to many Londoners…
Atchara Nualpenyai who ran a brothel above Chicken Spot in Wanstead High St, in which she made Thai women – who had been trafficked to the UK – work off massive debts to her, and who was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison last year has had her sentence cut to five years by the Court of Appeal.
Birds have been dying on Wanstead Flats – and poisoning is suspected. More here.
A house between two other houses? An application has been made to build a new house between two other houses in Onslow Gardens on Wanstead’s Nightingale Estate in place of the existing two adjoining garages. If it’s approved, could it open the floodgates to any number of new houses being shoehorned in the gaps between Wanstead homes? The Wanstead Guardian has a picture and quotes from worried neighbours.
London Datastore, a group which aims to make as much public data free and usuable by the public, says it’s had an “amazing” meeting with Redbridge Council at which the council said they were ready to share lots of their data.
Harry Cohen, outgoing MP for Leyton and Wanstead, is being investigated by police over his expenses. Coverage here in the The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, and Daily Mail.
The Wanstead Guardian also ran a story on Wansteadium’s spotting of mistletoe in Charnwood Drive.
Jonathan Lethbridge, a faithful Wanstead birdwatcher and blogger, was among those who discovered a spate of dead birds this week at Alexandra Lake on Wanstead flats. The authorities are now investigating, especially after an Alsation dog died too. Jonathan wrote;
It is a deliberate case of bird-poisoning, and the eight Crows I found were just the start. They have been falling out of the trees almost constantly since Tuesday. I don’t have the exact figures yet, but so far the deaths include over 100 Crows, many Canada Geese, Coots, and particularly Moorhens, 2 Greylags, and some Pigeons.
The Wanstead Guardian is reporting that post mortems are being carried out on the bodies, and that staff from Natural England are testing the lake. The City of London corporation – which owns the lake – told the paper:
“There have been unexplained bird deaths on and around Alexandra Lake and we have also received details of the death of a dog that was taken for a walk in the area of the Lake on 8th March. The area has been cordoned off and warning signs have been erected.”