‘Shots fired at lake birds’

Too dan­ger­ous to pa­trol, says angling so­ci­ety

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Ancient Clock Restored - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

Po­lice searched Sin­gle­ton Lake af­ter re­ports that two men were shoot­ing at wildlife.

Of­fi­cers were called to the lake, off Bucks­ford Lane, at 3.45pm on Fri­day af­ter wit­nesses re­ported see­ing an air ri­fle and cat­a­pult be­ing used on the ducks and swans.

An­other re­port claimed that “crack­ing sounds” could be heard near the wa­ter and that the men were tar­get­ing pi­geons.

A wit­ness, who asked not to be named, said: “Some­thing needs to be done up there. I saw two men shoot­ing at the birds, with ri­fles and sling-shots. The po­lice were called.

“There is hardly any wildlife up there any more. There is only one swan left on the lake.

“I’d like signs put up, mak­ing it clear that shoot­ing is not al­lowed. Oth­ers have sug­gested sur­veil­lance.

“It is sad for the chil­dren, as the amount of wildlife up there has di­min­ished dras­ti­cally.”

Ac­cord­ing to the wit­ness, the first man was around 5ft 6in, with brown hair, aged late teens to early 20s, and wear­ing a brown, wax jacket.

The sec­ond is de­scribed as be­ing around 5ft 8in, mixed race and broad build. Both spoke in a for­eign lan­guage.

Sin­gle­ton Lake is owned by Kent County Coun­cil and leased to Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil.

The Ash­ford Angling So­ci­ety say it has heard of other oc­ca­sions where peo­ple have tar­get­ing the swans with weapons.

In 2012, the re­mains of a de­cap­i­tated goose, butchered for con­sump­tion, were re­moved from the lake.

A spokesman for the so­ci­ety, which was set up in 1902, said: “We did have a phone call last Fri­day from a woman who sus­pected some­one was shoot­ing at the birds.

“We’ve been go­ing on about the prob­lems at Sin­gle­ton Lake for a long time.

“It isn’t just peo­ple tar­get­ing the birds, though.

“Peo­ple fish there late at night, light bon­fires and take drugs up there. We don’t ap­pre­ci­ate it.

“Our bailiffs won’t go af­ter 6pm – it is too dan­ger­ous.

“There is also a prob­lem with lit­ter up there. Peo­ple will feed the birds, but then drop the pack­ets. It needs to be stopped.”

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

At­tacks on wildlife, lit­ter, night-time fish­ing, bon­fires and drug-tak­ing have been re­ported at Sin­gle­ton Lake, to where po­lice were called af­ter claims that ri­fles and cat­a­pults were be­ing used

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