Dozens of birds are being found dead in Beddington Park’s lake, Wallington, UK
Concerned residents have reported seeing dozens of dead birds, including ducks and geese, being pulled from a lake at their local park.
The witnesses have told how they fear they may have died as a result of the water in the lake at Beddington Park being polluted.
An unusual foam and brown scum have been pictured in the lake.
Elizabeth Kane, from Forget Me Not Wildlife Rescue, explained that she has been called several times to the park, off Church Road, in Wallington, in the last few weeks to reports of birds in distress.
She added: “It could be anything [causing the deaths], which is why I’ve called on the council and the Environment Agency to get the water tested.”
Mark Perry, 46, who visits the park regularly, said the damage being done to wildlife in the park is “horrific” and “tragic”.
He said: “I started seeing some of the birds looking a little poorly and it’s just snowballed from there.
“Although we can’t say for certain what’s going on without testing the water, we are seeing all of the tell-tale signs of botulism, which is a terrible disease for wildfowl to get.
“It can cause paralysis, so the birds can just be swimming along fine one minute and the next they can’t move so they’re drowning, which is just horrific.
“It’s tragic to watch the wildfowl suffer like that.
“The park is just this phenomenal little space but it can be so much better when it’s properly looked after – we have so many kinds of wildlife here, including kingfishers and fish, and people do let their dogs go in that lake too.”
While the cause of the water contamination is not yet clear, Mr Perry said he had seen a lot of plant cuttings “rotting” at the end of the lake closest to the iron and stone bridges.
“It’s hard to pinpoint a cause but when foliage is left in the lake rotting that can cause diseases to spread, or if a dead bird is not removed from the water, that can cause contamination too,” he added.
A spokeswoman for the Swan Sanctuary said botulism is a common problem in shallow lakes and ponds during the summer months.
She said: “When it gets hotter and the water level drops in lakes which are already not very deep, bacteria breeds as the water heats up. We have received a fair few calls lately to ponds and lakes across London because this is sadly a common natural phenomenon.
“As always, our recommendation is that the local authority digs the lake deeper.”
A spokesman for Sutton Council said: “At this stage the environmental team are investigating and will take appropriate action once they have a better understanding of the possible cause.”
Courtesy of croydonadvertiser.co.uk