‘Shots fired at lake birds’
Too dangerous to patrol, says angling society
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.”
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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