birdpoisoning

Two men who poisoned birds and a dog at Alexandra Lake on Wanstead Flats in March this year were jailed for four months each and fined £7,000 at Snaresbrook Crown Court today.  Terrance Webb, 28, of Ilford and Mark Page, 35, of Romford, were both pest control officers for Newham Council.

They stole pesticide normally used to control fleas and cockroaches, put it into some bread and laid it around the lake during their lunch-hours, then, according to reports, laughed and joked that crows had eaten the bread and died.

Among the dead were geese, moorhen, crows and pigeons, and an Alsation.  Pamela Rowe, 69, the owner of the dog, told the Evening Standard today:

“It was a twisted, evil thing they did. They were not teenagers, they were pest control officers. My dog died a violent horrible death, and he was completely innocent.”

UPDATE, TUESDAY: The Evening Standard today published a fuller account of Mrs Rowe’s anger, and published for the first time a picture of the ill-fated dog, a German Shepherd-setter cross, named Russett.

Jonathan Lethbridge, whose Wanstead Birder blog has become the main source of information for the country’s media about the deaths of birds at Wanstead Flats, has written that people have still been ignoring the danger signs and barriers around Alexandra Lake.

The bird death saga rumbles on. The stupidity of the local populace continues to beggar belief. I’ve seen families walking past the “Biohazard” signs and stepping over the high-viz tape to go and feed the ducks by the lake shore. Fail. The Corporation had to install proper security fencing to stop them. Personally I’d have let Darwinism take it’s course, but there you go

Tape preventing access to the apparently poisoned Wanstead Flats lake, where 80 birds and a dog died last week, has been torn, according to a complainant to the FixMyStreet website. On the site, which forwards complaints to the appropriate authorities (and excerpts of which can be seen on the right hand side of Wansteadium pages), the report reads:

The contaminated pond has warning barriers around to stop people walking near it. These however have been broken and I have witness people walking dogs right next to the pond.

UFOs were spotted from Wanstead/Leytonstone borders, apparently, according to the UK-UFO website:

Went to feed the foxes in the early hours Friday night when I noticed that all sound had ceased in the garden. Couldn’t hear the trees or M11 sound in the distance of the motorway which you would expect to hear on a Friday night. Looked up and saw 5 lights coming towards the allotments in the sky. Curious as I thought they might be military helicoptors because of the size but realised I could not hear a pin drop. As they got closer I saw they were very bright and in formation and knew then that they were ufo’s. I ran upstairs to my husband and woke him and pulled the curtains open and said ‘now do you believe’?

Picture: Wanstead Birder

There were two arrests following the deaths of at least 80 birds – and one Alsation – at Alexandra Lake on Wanstead Flats. Scientists are still examining the bodies of the birds. More details at Wanstead Birder; picture courtesy Jonathan Lethbridge.

Twice as many couple under 40 who have children can afford to buy houses in Redbridge compared to the rest of London, according to the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit, which basically means family houses are more affordable in Redbridge than they are in other boroughs. The question is why?

Redbridge Council gave permission retrospectively for the demolition of the Truffles chocolate shop – which had been one of Wanstead’s oldest buildings – but they really had no choice: it was pulled down in May last year by a developer who says it turned out to be dangerously unstable. Abdul Rafeeq told the Wanstead Guardian that he will rebuild the house to its original specifications. He faces legal action for the demolition in June.

Nightingale Primary School has been classed as “outstanding” by Ofsted, a dramatic turnaround for head teacher Liz Barrett since she arrived at the school in 1997. Work by the pupils is currently showing in Wanstead Library foyer.

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.”