Botulism - Canoe Lake, Ryde, Isle of Wight - Mute Swan Mortality

Mrs Cook made this Freedom of Information request to Isle of Wight Council

The request was refused by Isle of Wight Council.

From: Mrs Cook

6 February 2012

Dear Isle of Wight Council,

In recent days I have been made aware that a swan at the Canoe
Lake, Ryde died of hypothermia, the swan was also diagnosed as
having contracted botulism. This morning I saw another swan at the
same location which appeared to be dead.

Would you please supply the recorded information you hold as to the
number of swans that have died at this location where botulism was
the cause of death or a contributing factor, during the last two
year period.

I myself have noticed an increase in lake-bed material and a
decrease in the clarity of the water at the Canoe Lake. Would you
please supply the recorded information you hold as to when the lake
was last dredged, either partially or entirely. Also any
information, including internal emails, of the recommendation or
intention of the Council to do so again.

Lastly, could you inform me if the Canoe Lake, Ryde holds specific
status. ie Wildlife Heritage Site, Site of Importance for Nature,
Site of Special Scientific Interest, Conservation Area, etc.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs Cook

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From: Vrba, Helen
Isle of Wight Council

6 February 2012

Dear Mrs Cook

Thank you for your information request which was received by the Isle of
Wight Council on 6 February.

 

As required by law, the Council will respond to you as soon as possible
and no later than 20 working days after the receipt of your request.

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the council is able to charge a
fee where the cost for responding is above the Appropriate Fee Limit as
set out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate
Limit and Fees) Regulation 2004.  The fee limit is set down by the Lord
Chancellor and is £450 which equates to a maximum of 18 hours of search
and retrieval time. 

 

Should your request fall into this category, we will notify you as soon as
possible, to discuss any options available to you.

 

The Council may also charge you the cost of disbursements, such as
photocopying and postage.  Should such costs be incurred in providing you
with the information you have requested, you will be notified of any
charges as soon as is reasonably practicable.

 

If you have any complaints in respect of your information request, please
write to the Corporate Information Unit at the above address, or complete
the on-line appeals form that can be found at www.iwight.com/information. 
If your complaint is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, you have
the ultimate right, once you have exhausted the internal appeals process,
to appeal to the Information Commissioner.

 

Yours sincerely

Helen Vrba

Departmental Information Guardian

 

Helen Vrba | Business Support Officer |  Recreation, Leisure and Public
Spaces | Isle of Wight Council | Enterprise House|Monks Brook| St Cross
Business Park| Newport | Isle of Wight PO30 5WB

01983-821000 ext 8713 | [1][email address] | [2]www.iwight.com

As part of our commitment to Eco Island, please don't print unless
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References

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From: Vrba, Helen
Isle of Wight Council

14 February 2012


Attachment C214.pdf
72K Download View as HTML

Attachment JohnOConner Minutes 02022012.doc
224K Download View as HTML


Dear Mrs Cook

 

Further to my earlier email, I can now reply regarding your request.

 

The birds on the canoe lake are wildfowl and not domestic birds. The
council does not own them nor care for them any more than it owns or cares
for any other wild creature, and therefore no records are kept in
connection with the welfare of the swans or any other wild birds. If the
birds die they are cleared away by our contractor, but no records exist of
how often this happens. We do not routinely investigate the deaths of wild
birds on our property, and no records are kept on the causes of death.

 

Attached is a copy of the minutes of a recent meeting between the council
and John O’Conner which refers to the forthcoming clearance of the canoe
lake and draining it.  The relevant minute is on page 4 and I have
highlighted this for you. We have no record of the lake having being
dredged since 2001 (by which I mean use of a mechanical dredger), although
we understand that in the past this was occasionally undertaken we have no
record of it, and I speculate it was probably well before 2001. It has
been drained down and cleared of debris annually since 2001 and probably
before then. There is no intention to undertake dredging in the lake and
so no record exists of such discussions.

 

The lake is SINC C214, the citation is attached.

The lake is within the Ryde Conservation Area. Details of this are
available on the iwight.com website.

The lake is not within any other designated area.

 

Some of the information that we provide in response to Freedom of
Information Act requests may be subject to copyright protection. In most
cases the copyright will be owned by the Isle of Wight Council. The
copyright in other information may be owned by another person or
organization, as indicated on the information itself.

 

You are free to use any information supplied for your own non-commercial,
research, or private study purposes. However, if you intend to use the
information for other reasons, please contact the Corporate Information
Unit for advice. 

 

Please contact me again if you require any further assistance on this
matter and I will do my best to provide relevant help and advice.

 

If you have any complaints in respect of your information request, please
write to the Corporate Information Unit, Isle of Wight Council, County
Hall, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 1UD, or email [email address], or
complete the on-line appeals form that can be found at
www.iwight.com/information.  If your complaint is not resolved to your
complete satisfaction, you have the ultimate right, once you have
exhausted the internal appeals process, to appeal to the Information
Commissioner.

 

Yours sincerely

Helen Vrba

Department Information Guardian

 

Helen Vrba | Business Support Officer |  Recreation, Leisure and Public
Spaces | Isle of Wight Council | Enterprise House|Monks Brook| St Cross
Business Park| Newport | Isle of Wight PO30 5WB

01983-821000 ext 8713 | [1][email address] | [2]www.iwight.com

As part of our commitment to Eco Island, please don't print unless
necessary

 

References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.iwight.com/

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From: Mrs Cook

8 March 2012

Dear Vrba, Helen,

Wild Mute swans are property of the crown, as the Isle of Wight
Council are the local authority you should be monitoring the
mortality of these protected birds on your property especially if
they are dying as a result of your neglecting the habitat. I an not
satisfied that you do not hold all the recorded information I have
requested please recheck your records.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Cook

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From: Vrba, Helen
Isle of Wight Council

12 March 2012

Dear Mrs Cook

I have noted your request for an internal review of the information supplied to you. Your appeal will be dealt with by the council's corporate information unit and they will be in touch with you within 20 working days. Your new reference is iw12/3/22392

Yours sincerely
Helen Vrba
Departmental Information Guardian

Helen Vrba | Business Support Officer | Recreation, Leisure and Public Spaces | Isle of Wight Council | Enterprise House|Monks Brook| St Cross Business Park| Newport | Isle of Wight PO30 5WB
01983-821000 ext 8733 | [email address] | www.iwight.com
As part of our commitment to Eco Island, please don't print unless necessary

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From: Hazell, Georgina
Isle of Wight Council

21 March 2012

Dear Mrs Cook

 

Request for Information Ref iw12/2/16696 Appeal iw12/3/22392

 

I write with reference to your appeal dated 12 March 2012 regarding your
request for the number of swans that have died at Ryde Canoe Lake where
botulism was the cause of death or a contributing factor, during the last
two year period.

 

Your initial request was for “recorded information you hold as to the
number of swans that have died at this location where botulism was the
cause of death or a contributing factor, during the last two year period.
When the lake was last dredged, either partially or entirely. Also any
information, including internal emails, of the recommendation or intention
of the Council to do so again.  inform me if the Canoe Lake, Ryde holds
specific status. i.e. Wildlife Heritage Site, Site of Importance for
Nature, Site of Special Scientific Interest, Conservation Area, etc.”

 

You subsequently contacted the council stating we “should be monitoring
the mortality of these protected bird” and that you are not satisfied that
we only hold the information provided to you initially.

 

The purpose of an internal review is for an independent officer to review
the request and carry out any further searches or clarification. I have
checked with relevant colleagues and I have received clarification that
the birds on the canoe lake are wild birds and the council has no duty to
care for them. They have also advised that providing for their welfare is
neither necessary nor desirable as the natural behaviour of wild birds is
to move from place to place to find food and shelter. Inevitably in times
of short food and cold weather this can mean some hardship for
individuals, and may from time to time result in the death of wild birds.
This is natural and it is not appropriate for the council to interfere in
the way wild birds behave, nor to investigate the reason for deaths. 

 

I can also confirm that there are no collected records of bird mortality.
To identify any records, including correspondence, emails etc, that refer
to dead swans at Appley would involve a manual search of all records held
by the service.  Section 12 of the Act makes provision for public
authorities to refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing
with them would exceed the appropriate limit, which for local authorities
is £450. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18
hours in determining whether the council holds the information, including
locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

 

Unfortunately, we estimate that it will take us in excess of 18 hours to
carry out further searches to identify, locate, retrieve and extract any
further information in reference to your request. We are therefore unable
to provide any further information.

 

I understand that you have received confirmation that the canoe lake is
situated within Ryde Conservation Area. 

 

I trust that the documents you have been supplied with and the above
explanation satisfies your request.  

 

If you have concerns with respect to the welfare/wellbeing of the wild
swans, you may like to contact the RSPCA.

 

 

If you are at all dissatisfied with the way in which the Council has dealt
with your request, and appeal, you have the right of further appeal to the
Information Commissioners Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF ([1]www.ico.gov.uk). The Information Commissioner is the
governing body for the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Acts.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Georgie

 

Georgina Hazell, Information Access Officer, Corporate Information Unit,
Legal Services,Room 322, Floor 3, County Hall, Newport, Isle Of Wight,
PO30 1LA | Telephone 821000 ext 6330 | [2][email address] |
Web: [3]www.iwight.com

 

References

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3. http://www.iwight.com/

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