Slaughter of ruddy ducks at Witton Lakes- what do you know?

Mr Carroll made this Freedom of Information request to Birmingham City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Birmingham City Council,

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act and The Environmental Informtaion Regulations.

In order to assist you with this request, I am outlining my query as specifically as possible.

If however this request is too wide or too unclear, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I understand that under the act, you are required to advise and assist requesters.

(i)Following the revelations in The Friends of Witton Lakes notice board that FERA undertook the shooting of 7 ruddy duck birds (a family) on March 1st 2013, I would like to request all recorded information that you hold concerning this incident.

Please provide by electronic means any communications between Birmingham City Council and Defra/Fera/Natural England and any other organisations in relation to this cull, including emails, file notes and letters.
(ii) Could you confirm what information, if any, Birmingham City employees supplied to any of the above Governmental quangos prior to the cull.I am requesting any recorded information held, including the reporting of field sitings, and by whom these were made.
(iii)Could you confirm what notice was received by the council in relation to the cull, and to whom this information was relayed?
(iv) Could you confirm if these birds were shot using boats, or were shot from the bankside, and if the carcasses were removed by FERA from the lake?
(v) I am requesting what instruction was given to staff/members of the public by the city council in relation to potential concern/risks that may arise concerning operations on the day of the cull.

I understand that under the act, I should be entitled to a response within 20 working days.
I would be grateful if you could confirm that you have received this request. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Carroll

Lynda Parchment, Birmingham City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Carroll


Attached is Birmingham City Council's response to your Freedom of
Information request.


Lynda Parchment

Compliance Assistant

Local Services - Committee Services

Data Protection / Freedom of Information

House of Sport - 300 Broad St


0121 303 4638





show quoted sections

Mr Carroll left an annotation ()

This story was picked up by The Birmingahm Evening mail

These documents confirm that Joe Hayden of Birmingham City Council, an authority which garnted permission when it could have refused, was largely responsible for giving permission for FERA to use shotguns to destroy these birds. Note the location to the nearby schools and mention of the fact that it had been heard.

Iain Henderson of Fera states in an email
“We shot all six birds one adult male, two adult female, one juvenile male and two juvenile females.”

His information concerning the ability of these local birds to fly off to Spain is completely misguided and false. They bred on this lake, and would have done so again- that's why there were juveniles identified. They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

John Porter Constituency park manager states of The Friends of Witton Lakes.
“I think they appreciate that they have been a part of a worthwhile international conservation exercise.”

Below are some intersting links to this group.
I am left wondering what they actually stand for.

“Making a difference and protecting the birds”

“Duckling Watch – a Birmingham City Council backed scheme to protect waterfowl at Witton Lakes.
Duckling Watch was launched in 2009 to deter potential vandalism of nests and the destruction of eggs. Volunteers patrol the Lakes from February to September, reporting any problems to officials.”

“A caring community group in Perry Common is looking for volunteers to help stop water birds being killed and nests being destroyed at an urban beauty spot.
The newly-formed Friends of Witton Lakes is seeking new members to assist with a number of initiatives at the site between Perry Common and Wyrley Birch, starting with a 'Duckling Watch'.
....the new watch, which runs from February to September, aims to patrol Witton Lakes in a figure of eight route to provide a visible presence to deter those who either inadvertently or deliberately endanger the water birds.

"Duckling Watch has been set up to be a visible presence at Witton Lakes to deter the potential destruction of the water birds nests and eggs but also the possible abuse and murder of their babies and parent birds who will try to protect them.